Office of Public Engagement

Creating Opportunities for America’s Veteran Small Business Owners

On November 9, 2011, the American Legion's Post 1, its Small Business Taskforce and a group of corporate partners are coming together to launch a national Jobs Growth Initiative for veterans’ small businesses. This initiative is particularly noteworthy because it’s a public-private partnership focused on stimulating job growth in the veteran-owned small business community.

The event will bring together veteran-owned public sector contractors, both large and small, that are interested in leveraging the advantages of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. This Act, which the President signed on September 27, 2010, was the most significant piece of small business legislation in more than a decade. The new law provides critical resources to small businesses – the engines of economic recovery and job creation.

Walter Cotton, a Legion Taskforce member who leads this effort, said "To produce sustainable veteran job growth, we must assist veteran-owned businesses in the pursuit of contracting opportunities as well as equip them with the skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive environment.”  This is the central mission of the Jobs Growth Initiative.

The Small Business Task Force of the American Legion is also looking to spur innovation within the broader small business community. The task force believes the best practices that have worked for the veteran-owned business community will also work for all small businesses.

As well as unveiling the partnership’s strategy for jobs growth, this event will include a mentor-protégé match making session for large and small business contractors. It will also honor Senator Olympia Snowe for her work on the Senate’s Small Business Committee, and celebrate the many years of service of Mr. Billy Jenkins, SBA’s Retiring Veterans Procurement Liaison.

The Jobs Growth Initiative led by the American Legion is yet another great example of organizations around the country stepping up to support those who have sacrificed so much on our behalf. As the President said at a recent American Legion convention, it is imperative for this country to take care of its veterans “as well as you’ve taken care of us.” The President is deeply committed to supporting veteran job growth and the American Legion’s Jobs Growth Initiative is a great example of the extraordinary capacity of the nation to lend a hand to those who have served us so well.

 Matt Flavin is the Director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy.

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