First Lady: 100,000 More Jobs Committed to Vets, Spouses
By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 2011 First Lady Michelle Obama today announced a private sector commitment to hire 100,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014, bringing to at least 125,000 the total commitment in response to President Barack Obama’s recent hiring challenge.
The International Franchise Association, which represents 1,100 franchises, has committed to hiring 80,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014 – with 5,000 jobs reserved for wounded warriors, Mrs. Obama said during a keynote address at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Steps Up: Hiring our Heroes event here.
Also, the first lady said the Military Spouse Employment Partnership has committed to employing 20,000 military spouses by 2014. Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, helped launch the partnership at the Chamber of Commerce last summer. The partnership includes nearly 100 employers, including Microsoft, Home Depot and Citi, as well as franchises like UPS, Guidant Financial and Data Doctors.
Today’s announcement follows Mrs. Obama’s Oct. 19 announcement on Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., that the American Logistics Association and its 270 affiliate employers have committed to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2013. The commitments are in response to the president’s challenge last summer for the private sector to hire 100,000 veterans by 2013 as part of the Joining Forces campaign the first lady and Dr. Biden created to focus support on military families.
Also today, the first lady announced the launch of the Veterans Job Bank, an open online resource supported by nearly a dozen technology and job search companies, including Simply Hired, Monster and others, to help veterans and military spouses search job openings from committed employers based on their location and skills. The Job Bank is designed with an easy-to-use approach that enticed companies like Guidant Financial and Data Doctors to quickly tag their postings, now part of more than 550,000 jobs available to veterans and military spouses, according to a White House news release.
“When we think about what we’re announcing today -- 100,000 new jobs committed and 550,000 searchable jobs online -- those aren’t just numbers,” Mrs. Obama said. “There are millions of Americans all across this country who are working hard every day to find new ways to honor military families’ service.
“All of this is adding up, and thanks to the IFA and MSEP, they’re part of the wave of support forming that stretches across this country,” she added.
Obama said the hiring initiatives would not stop even as employers pledge above the president’s challenge.
“To the veterans and spouses who might not feel these efforts in your own lives just yet, those of you who might be wondering if this wave will ever reach you, I want you to know today that I won’t stop, and all of the people joining me here today won’t stop,” she said. “We will keep working until this wave of support reaches every single veteran and every single military family in this nation.
Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said the Hiring Our Heroes initiative is working closely with Joining Forces to ensure that veterans and military spouses have employment opportunities.