October 2011
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TD Magazine

Washington Gets Serious About Veteran Unemployment

Saturday, October 1, 2011

For transitioning and wounded military service members, job help is on the way.

Last summer, 1 million United States military veterans were unemployed, and another million will return to the workforce over the next five years, according to Obama administration officials. Many of these veterans are finding that their military skills do not qualify them for civilian jobs, and they need specialized training and education to procure meaningful post-service employment.


The federal government is launching a variety of initiatives to help military veterans qualify for and find jobs. The Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran Affairs have developed a new taskforce that will ensure that veterans receive the skills they need through training such as a "reverse boot camp."

Additionally, the Department of Labor will ensure that established one-stop career centers assist veterans with their job searches. "We'll make it easier for veterans to go to their local, one-stop career center and get help pursuing a career that fits them best," says President Obama. "These steps will help bridge part of the gap between veterans looking for work and companies looking to hire."

To further ignite the private sectors interest, the administration is providing incentives through the "Returning Heroes" and "Wounded Warriors" tax credits for firms that hire unemployed veterans.


Congress also is uniting its efforts to aid recovering, unemployed service members. The Congressional Wounded to Work Caucus is a bipartisan effort that plans to help injured military members obtain internships and take part in work-study programs, even as they're rehabilitating. The caucus will identify legislative and legal barriers to transitioning veterans and will work with existing business and education programs to create viable job training and employment opportunities for these individuals.

"We will continue to work through this public-private partnership so that these wounded men and women can plug back into society," says Congressman Mike Conaway (R-TX), co-founder of the caucus. "They have a great heart for this country and want to be productive, contributing citizens. Helping them to transition from the military into meaningful employment is one way to do so."


About the Author

Community of Practice Manager, ATD  Ann Parker is senior manager of the Human Capital Community of Practice and the Senior Leaders & Executives Community of Practice at ATD. Prior to this position, she worked at ATD for five years in an editorial capacity, primarily for TD magazine, and most recently as a senior writer and editor. In this role, Ann had the privilege to talk to many training and development practitioners, hear from a variety of prominent industry thought leaders, and develop a rich understanding of the profession's content.

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