Ed note: This post was first published on Fastlane, the official blog of the Department of Transportation
President Obama has asked that we serve our veterans as well as they’ve served us, and we at DOT are proud to answer the President’s challenge. That’s why today, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, we’re launching a web portal to help veterans find transportation jobs in the private sector.
Our veterans have the skills and experience to help rebuild America, and we want to put them to work in the skies, on the roads, and throughout our transit systems.
At the Veterans Transportation Career Center, former members of the armed forces can enter their specific military work experience to see how it translates to jobs in the civilian working world. Job seekers can learn what training and certification are needed for civilian jobs, determine what career fits best with their background, and search for available jobs in their field.
This is a win for employers as well as veterans. It's also a win
for all of us who use our nation's transportation system. More than half of America’s transportation workers eligible to retire in the next year alone. We need thousands of skilled workers, and veterans offer the right mix of preparation to step into those jobs.
As the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee made clear, some our most pressing needs are in aviation.
With airlines adding 25,000 new aircraft to the current 17,000 strong commercial fleet and the average age of a pilot in America at nearly 50, we'll need a new generation of pilots and mechanics to keep this industry strong. We're also going to need more than 1,000 new air traffic controllers each year for the coming years.
Many veterans already have the skills that would allow them to transition to this industry. So the new site will guide veterans to jobs in five categories: aviation pilot, aviation maintenance technician, air traffic controller, commercial motor vehicle driver, and emergency medical services.
As Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki said:
“Veterans have the skills, knowledge and attributes that American businesses need to help rebuild an economy that will last. These men and women bring exceptional leadership to any position. They are uniquely qualified for jobs as pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers, commercial drivers and emergency medical technicians because many of them have performed these roles in combat."
This new portal complements our ongoing investments in transportation services for America’s veterans and their families. Whether they're going to work, school, or medical appointments, or grocery shopping, these initiatives are helping our veterans get there while keeping more money in their pockets instead of paying it at the pump.
And we recently sponsored a very successful online dialogue that invited veterans, military families, and community transportation providers to share their best ideas on how we can all do a better job of meeting the needs of this deserving population.
These efforts are but a small thank you to America’s fighting forces. And this is only the beginning. DOT will continue to partner with the VA to find new and better ways to help veterans find work and achieve success in transportation fields.
This Administration understands our obligation to veterans. So we're connecting America’s heroes with the economic opportunity that they deserve –and that they have earned.