Four Ways Obama Plans to Help Veterans Get Jobs

Official portrait of President-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 13, 2009.

Friday, President Barack Obama announced a major initiative to help military veterans find work in the private sector. The Director of the White House Veterans, Military Families and Wounded Warrior Task Force, Matt Flavin condensed the President’s proposal into four points:

  • Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits:  A new Returning Heroes Tax Credit for firms that hire unemployed veterans (maximum credit of $2,400 for every short-term unemployed hire and $4,800 for every long-term unemployed hire) and a Wounded Warriors Tax Credit which will increase the existing tax credit for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been unemployed long-term (maximum credit of $9,600 per veteran) and continue the existing credit for all other veterans with a service-connected disability (maximum credit of $4,800).
  • A Challenge to the Private Sector to Hire or Train 100,000 Unemployed Veterans or Their Spouses by the End of 2013:  The President will challenge businesses to commit to hire or provide training to unemployed veterans or their spouses. Joining Forces will lead this work with businesses and industry.
  • Presidential Call for a Career-Ready Military:  The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, working closely with other agencies and the President’s economic and domestic policy teams, will lead a new task force to develop reforms to ensure that every member of the service receives the training, education, and credentials they need to transition to the civilian workforce or to pursue higher education. These reforms will include the design of a “reverse bootcamp,” which will extend the transition period to give service members more counseling and guidance and leave them career-ready.
  • Transition to the Private Sector:  The Department of Labor will establish a new initiative to deliver an enhanced career development and job search service package to transitioning veterans at their local One-Stop Career Centers. The Office of Personnel Management will create a “Best Practices” Manual for the private sector to help businesses identify and hire veterans.

Flavin is a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His full online post, Putting Our Veterans Back to Work, is available HERE.

There’s also a Fact Sheet: President Obama’s Commitment to Employing America’s Veterans which includes a list of private sector companies that have committed to training and hiring veterans:

  • Microsoft will offer 10,000 technology training positions over two years.
  • Siemens will have hired more than 450 veterans by the end of 2011.
  • Honeywell is on pace to employ at least 500 veterans in 2011.
  • JP Morgan Chase launched a mission to 100,000 transitioning service members and military veterans by 2020.

You can access the full fact sheet and list of companies committed to hiring veterans HERE.


Almost Half of Student Veterans Have Considered Suicide

The following was published online by the American Psychological Association:

WASHINGTON (2011-8-4) – Nearly half of college students who are U.S. military veterans reported thinking of suicide and 20 percent said they had planned to kill themselves, rates significantly higher than among college students in general, according to a study presented at the American Psychological Association’s 119th Annual Convention.

“These alarming numbers underscore the urgent need for universities to be adequately staffed and prepared to assist and treat student veterans,” said M. David Rudd, PhD, of the University of Utah and lead author of the study entitled, “Student Veterans: A National Survey Exploring Psychological Symptoms and Suicide Risk.” Rudd presented the findings during a convention symposium focusing on unique challenges of suicide prevention in the military.

Researchers with the National Center for Veterans’ Studies at the University of Utah looked at survey results gathered in 2011 from 525 veterans — 415 males and 110 females, with an average age of 26. Ninety-eight percent had been deployed in the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan and 58 percent to 60 percent reported they had experienced combat. The majority were Caucasian (77 percent), with the remainder African-American (7 percent), Hispanic (12 percent), Asian-American (3 percent) and Native American (1 percent). This ethnic background distribution is similar to that of all U.S veterans, according to the paper.

The findings were startling: 46 percent of respondents indicated suicidal thinking at some point during their lifetime; 20 percent reported suicidal thoughts with a plan; 10.4 percent reported thinking of suicide very often; 7.7 percent reported a suicide attempt; and 3.8 percent reported a suicide attempt was either likely or very likely.

You can read the entire article HERE.

If  you are combat veteran in crisis or have friends or family who are veterans talking about suicide, you can get immediate help 24 hours a day at the Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255.

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