President Barack Obama plans to create a Veterans Job Corps for troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The program includes three initiatives.
First, the veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom would be hired to help restore national parks throughout. Reuters reported:
Obama proposed setting aside $1 billion to develop a conservation program that he said would put up to 20,000 veterans to work over five years rebuilding national parks or local communities.
Secondly, Pres. Obama’s plan also calls for grants to help local communities hire veterans as firefighters and police.
The administration will make available $166 million in 2012 Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Grant funding and $320 million in 2012 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants and award that money with a preference to communities that recruit and hire post-9/11 veterans. The President’s budget for the 2013 fiscal year will include additional $5 billion for these grant programs.
The third initiative involves training veterans as entrepreneurs.
Back in August, the Administration established a two-day course in entrepreneurship as part of the Transition Assistance Program with the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, along with the Small Business Administration. The SBA also offers an eight week online training program that will teach the fundamentals of small business ownership to more than 10,000 veterans every year.
The unemployment rate for Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars remains above the national average. Some online tools to help veterans and military spouses find jobs are available HERE.