Meeting the President’s Challenge: Businesses Supporting our Veterans

President Obama veterans remarks navy yard

President Barack Obama speaks about the economy and the Administration’s efforts to prepare our nation’s veterans for the workforce during a statement at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. August 5, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

This morning, President Obama challenged the private sector to hire or train 100,000 unemployed veterans or their spouses by the end of 2013. The White House also announced a list of companies who are taking action to help put our veterans to work. Here’s what some of these companies are saying:

  • Siemens: At the launch of the White House’s Joining Forces initiative in April 2011, Siemens Corporation pledged to fill 10 percent of the company’s 3,000 open positions with veterans.  Today, at an event with President Obama, it was announced that Siemens exceeded its goal and will increase its commitment to actively seek and hire the best and brightest from the nation’s military by reserving an additional 150 positions for veterans. 
  • Microsoft: We applaud the President for continuing to draw attention to this very important issue, supporting veterans, as they move from the military to civilian life, and ensuring they are fully supported and see great success along the way. Microsoft also understands the need in this area. In response, we will step up our existing efforts.
  • Lockheed Martin: In response to President Obama’s call to action to support U.S. military veterans, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) today announced its strong endorsement of his challenge to support military families by actively recruiting and hiring veterans transitioning back into the workplace. 
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce:  We have been working together with the Administration over the past several months in expanding the “Joining Forces” initiative, and the Chamber remains at the forefront of the private sector’s efforts to tackle the issue of veterans’ employment head on….We know that today’s announcement by the President will continue to raise awareness around the country about the need to help many of America’s finest men and women find the career opportunities they deserve and are qualified to fill.  And whether it’s a mega hiring fair in New York City or a smaller one in Great Falls, our commitment to connect talented veterans and military spouses with employers that have job opportunities is equally strong. 
  • Humana: Mike McCallister, chairman and chief executive officer of Humana, joined the president at the Washington Navy Yard as Mr. Obama urged U.S. companies to hire or train an additional 100,000 veterans by the end of 2013.  Based on its experience working with military veterans and recent extensive research of veterans’ financial and medical needs, Humana (NYSE: HUM) today is announcing a new, national Veterans Initiative.
  • Honeywell: Honeywell (NYSE: HON) today announced its support of President Obama’s initiative to encourage private companies to hire and train more military veterans.  As part of its ongoing efforts, Honeywell recently expanded its recruitment efforts to include a target job placement goal of at least 500 veterans in 2011 across the company’s four businesses…
  • HP: As part of the Obama Administration's goal to strengthen support of military families, HP joined the White House in a new program, "Veterans Fast Launch."  This program is part of First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden's "Joining Forces" initiative aimed at helping veterans build careers upon returning home from military service. HP, in partnership with SCORE, an organization that provides small business advice for entrepreneurs, is providing mentoring, tools, and training support to military personnel and their families. Specifically, HP is helping to support veterans and their spouses by making them aware of HP's Virtual Rooms technology, and its free, 60-day trial.
  • JP Morgan Chase: “Many of our nation’s veterans face tremendous challenges when transitioning to life after military service, and we recognize that it takes a partnership of committed individuals and organizations to help them successfully reenter the civilian world,” stated Tom Higgins, JPMorgan Chase’s Managing Director and Head of Operational Control who represented the firm at today’s event. “JPMorgan Chase is committed to helping ease that transition whenever possible by providing jobs, homes and educational opportunities. We are partnering with other companies who are equally committed to helping these deserving individuals lead healthy, happy and successful lives.”

In addition to these important efforts, many firms already have excellent veteran-focused programs

  • The Center for Energy Workforce Development and the Edison Electric Institute worked with various public and private partners to develop a “Troops to Energy Jobs” program.  Through this program, veterans will have the opportunity to transfer their military education and experience into college credit that will bring much-needed skills to our utility companies and help meet our nation’s increased energy demands.
  • Veterans on Wall Street(“VOWS”) is an initiative supported by a coalition of Wall Street banks, including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Citi, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank that united to help support, educate and recruit military veterans and their families as they transition to the civilian workplace through hiring fairs, mentoring programs, an annual industry conference, and philanthropic support.

President Obama is committed to ensuring that all of America’s veterans have the support they need and deserve when they leave the military, look for a job and enter the civilian workforce. In the weeks ahead, we will build on today’s announcement and continue to do all we can to support our veterans.

Matt Flavin serves as the Director of the White House Veterans, Military Families and Wounded Warrior Task Force
Related Topics: Veterans
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