IAVA Helps President Unveil Veterans Jobs Initiative
August 22 2011
On August 5th, IAVA Member Veterans joined President Obama at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. to launch a critical new initiative focused on helping returning service members from Iraq and Afghanistan to find employment at home. The Veteran Jobs Initiative comes on the heels of a dismal employment report from the Department of Labor showing that veterans from these conflicts faced a 12.4 percent unemployment rate of as of July -- almost three percentage points higher than the national average.
IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff and Member Veteran Nick Colgin on CNN
The initiative focuses on four major components:
- Tax credits for employers who hire recently returned veterans and wounded warriors.
- A challenge for employers to hire and train 100,000 veterans and their families before the end of 2013.
- A call for a career ready military that will be established by a joint committee comprised of members from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Ease transition into the private sector by having the Department of Labor establish a best practices manual for employers seeking to hire veterans.
Many influential leaders in the Defense and veterans' communities as well as corporate leaders from dozens of companies including IAVA partners Microsoft, VOWS and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce attended the Navy Yard event with the President. IAVA represented in full force with IAVA Member Veterans Nick Colgin, Maria Canales and IAVA Research Associate Chandra Banks joining the President on stage for the announcement. During his speech, the President shared the stories of Nick and Maria on national television, emphasizing the urgency of hiring this New Greatest Generation to rebuild our economy. They, and dozens of fellow IAVA members in the audience, listened intently with the knowledge that the hard work they both began as part of Storm the Hill 2011, helping to kick off IAVA's Combat to Career campaign, played an integral part in making the President's announcement a reality.
“IAVA is extremely encouraged to see the President stepping up to support new veterans. With over a quarter million Iraq and Afghanistan veterans jobless in June, this is the exact kind of attention our community needs. For months, IAVA has been calling on both the White House and Congressional leaders to make veteran unemployment a top priority in the national dialogue. This initiative is a solid step in the right direction. It will bring critical attention and resources in the fight to lower the 13.3 percent new veteran unemployment rate in June,” said IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff.
“Through the President’s leadership, this initiative will bring together the smartest minds in government and business to create sustainable jobs and hiring practices for veterans. There is no silver-bullet solution for veteran unemployment, but IAVA is pleased to see the President sending a clear message to the nation: if you want to support veterans, hire them. IAVA looks forward to working with the President, First Lady, administration officials and private companies to ensure this initiative immediately benefits thousands of new veterans and their families who have sacrificed for our country.”
Click here to read the Fact Sheet on the White House Veterans Jobs Initiative.
The Combat to Career Campaign
Combating veteran unemployment is IAVA’s top policy priority for 2011. In March, the organization launched an innovative yearlong Combat to Career campaign during the annual Storm the Hill trip to Washington, D.C. with the goal of lowering the new veteran unemployment rate by Veterans Day (11/11/11). Through the campaign, IAVA is focused on bringing together the public and private sectors to pass comprehensive veterans jobs legislation and find unique ways to employ this generation of veterans. From Capitol Hill to the White House, IAVA Member Veterans have shared their employment challenges with the First Lady, Administration officials and hundreds of leaders throughout Congress.
In Washington, IAVA is calling on Congress to pass the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011 and the Veterans Opportunity Work (VOW) Act to incentivize hiring of veterans, strengthen job protections and create new programs aimed at improving their transition from combat to career. Meanwhile, in the private sector, the campaign brings together corporate partners including Microsoft, Google, JCPenney, Citi and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to host job fairs, career skills workshops and hiring initiatives for new veterans. For a complete list of our partners and to learn more about the Combat to Career campaign, click here.
Veteran of Iraq or Afghanistan? Join the conversation inside IAVA's Community of Veterans, stay updated on employment opportunities through IAVA’s Combat to Career program or get free rewards like NFL tickets and jcpenney gift certificates from The Rucksack. Sign up today to become a member - it's completely free.
In just the last year, IAVA has connected hundreds of veterans with employers through career fairs, helped over 10,000 veterans go to college on the new GI Bill, and provided mental health support to over 50,000 veterans—all at no cost to Member Veterans. Programs like these are only made possible through your generous support. Fight for those who fought for us and help us keep these resources and benefits complete free for new veterans and their families.
Donate online or text "IAVA" to 20222 to contribute $10 towards our Combat to Career program. Ensure our country supports this newest generation of veterans not just on Veterans Day but every day of the year.
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