With the last American soldiers set to leave Iraq by year's end and a timetable in place for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan by 2014, the White House has announced a series of initiatives to increase employment prospects for returning soldiers.
The White House said in a press release that as of October, over 850,000 veterans were unemployed and the jobless rate for "post-9/11 veterans" was 12.1 percent, compared to an overall unemployment rate of 9 percent. Over 1 million service members are expected to return to civilian life in the next four years.
The White House is encouraging employers interested in hiring veterans to post their job openings as part of a new Veterans Job Bank at the National Resource Directory. The tool allows veterans to enter their military occupation specialty or code to return related civilian skills and associated job listings. Visit the website to post an opening in the Veterans Job Bank.
Private and public job listing services that are offering resources to train employers how to tag job listings as veteran friendly include Simply Hired, LinkedIn, Google, Monster and Military.com, Taleo, Indeed, BranchOut and Twitter.
During a Nov. 7 Rose Garden event attended by leaders of veterans organizations, President Barack Obama pressed for the passage of two provisions in the American Jobs Act that would reward employers for hiring veterans, and he announced several executive actions to help veterans find jobs in a tough employment market.
The president's announcement came at the start of a week when the Senate approved a bill that would reinstate or sweeten tax credits for employers who hire unemployed veterans. As Catholic Health World went to press the following week, the House was planning to vote on the veterans' jobs bill.
The bill's Returning Heroes Tax Credit would reinstate a tax break that expired late in 2010 and give firms that hire unemployed veterans up to $5,600 in tax credits per veteran. The credit would start at $2,400 for a veteran who has been unemployed for at least one month and increase with the length of the job hunt.
The Wounded Warrior Tax Credit provision of the bill would double the existing tax credit for hiring long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities. Hiring a disabled veteran who has been unemployed for more than six months would make an employer eligible for a tax credit of up to $9,600 per veteran.
Programs announced as part of the initiative include personalized case management, assessment and counseling at roughly 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers across the country and online job hunting resources.
For more information on the jobs for veterans initiative visit the Joining Forces website.
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