Open Innovation for Heroes – Introducing the Veterans Job Bank

Today, the Obama Administration launched the Veterans Job Bank, a new search tool designed to help connect veterans with employers.  The Job Bank works by bringing jobs listings directly to veterans—instead of the other way around—via a search widget that provides a single window into the myriad job boards, social media platforms, and corporate employment sites that are currently spread across the Internet.

The search widget is powered by a new open Web standard, the JobPosting schema, designed by a voluntary network of job search and technology companies and supported by schema.org—a collaboration among Bing, Google, and Yahoo to make structured data on the Web easier to find.

Today this tool is accessible across Federal websites for veterans, but—as an open search widget—it is available to scale across the Web to ensure it reaches veterans where they are.

Interested in adding the widget as a feature on your website? Instructions are found here.

For employers committed to hiring veterans, “tagging” job listings in the JobPosting schema ensures that those listings will be discoverable through the Veterans Job Bank.

Interested in tagging your job openings? Instructions are found here.

This endeavor embodies the spirit of the Obama Administration’s Open Innovation approach to tackling problems, as this new widget is entirely the result of voluntary public and private sector collaboration. Starting with Google’s custom search team, the Veterans Job Bank was conceived and then implemented in less than 90 days. Thanks to Simply Hired’s decision to serve as the first job search engine to adopt the standard, the Job Bank debuts today with over 500,000 open job listings.

I’m confident the Veterans Job Bank will rapidly scale thanks to efforts of job search leaders like Monster and its affiliate site, Military.com, Indeed, and Taleo, an applicant tracking system serving half of the Fortune 100.

Even leaders in social media have joined the movement. BranchOut, one of the largest professional communities on Facebook, and Twitter, through TweetMyJobs, will reach millions of veterans through their networks.

But I’m particularly excited about LinkedIn’s efforts, beginning with an open call for app developers to participate in a very special “Hackday” on this Friday’s Veterans Day. No matter where you are located across the country, I hope you form a team – access the portfolio of APIs and open data sets - and build a better civilian employment experience for our nation’s heroes.

President Obama came to office firmly believing in a “bottom-up” theory of change. He tasked us on his first full day with helping to usher in a more open government. Making job listings on the Web a bit more machine-readable furthers that vision by catalyzing even more opportunities for innovation. Thanks to our growing roster of partners, I’m confident we will invent our way to a better employment system. Stay tuned as we report back in 30 days.

Aneesh Chopra is U.S. Chief Technology Officer

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