Having served and defended our nation, veterans are well-trained, highly skilled and will add value to any company. But today’s veterans face unique challenges: As of October, over 850,000 veterans were unemployed and the jobless rate for post-9/11 veterans was 12.1 percent. And as we end the war in Iraq and wind down the war in Afghanistan, over one million servicemembers are projected to leave the military between 2011 and 2016. Accordingly, there is more work to do to ensure these men and women can find jobs at home when they return.
On November 7, leading veterans’ organizations joined President Obama at the White House to announce their support for the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits, two provisions in the American Jobs Act Congress is scheduled to consider that will help create jobs and strengthen the economy. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit provides firms that hire unemployed veterans with a maximum credit of $5,600 per veteran, while the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit offers firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities with a maximum credit of $9,600 per veteran.
The President also announced a series of executive actions that will provide new resources for veterans to translate military experience to the private job market, give veterans additional career development support and better identify firms looking to hire veterans. These initiatives include:
Veteran Gold Card: Effective today, Post-9/11 veterans will be able download the Veteran Gold Card, which entitles them to enhanced services including six months of personalized case management, assessments and counseling, at the roughly 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers located across the country. This could help serve the more than 200,000 unemployed Post-9/11 veterans. The President directed the Department of Labor to launch this initiative in his August 5, 2011 speech at the Navy Yard.
My Next Move for Veterans: The Department of Labor will launch My Next Move for Veterans, a new online resource that allows veterans to enter their military occupation code and discover civilian occupations for which they are well qualified. The site will also include information about salaries, apprenticeships, and other related education and training programs.
Creating a Veterans Job Bank: Starting Monday, the Administration will launch the Veterans Job Bank, at National Resource Directory, an easy to use tool to help veterans find job postings from companies looking to hire them. It already searches over 500,000 job postings and is growing. In a few easy steps, companies can make sure the job postings on their own websites are part of this Veterans Job Bank.
All of these services can also be accessed by visiting www.whitehouse.gov/vets.
Together, these initiatives and the tax credits will lower veteran unemployment through increased hiring, improve resources for veterans to translate their military skills for the civilian workforce, and provide veterans with new tools to aid their search for jobs.
Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits
Under the Recovery Act, employers who hired certain unemployed veterans were eligible for a tax credit of up to 40 percent of the first $6,000 of wages, for a maximum credit of $2,400. This credit expired at the end of 2010.
As part of the American Jobs Act, the President has proposed two new tax credits:
Veterans Gold Card Initiative
Today, the Department of Labor will launch a new initiative to deliver individually customized, priority job search services to Post-9/11 veterans through One-Stop Career Centers. Veterans will be provided Gold Card certificates through the Transition Assistance Program and through the eBenefits portal administered by the Department of Veteran Affairs and Department of Defense (a central access point to online benefits and related services). Veterans will also be able to download the Gold Card by visiting www.whitehouse.gov/vets. The Gold Card will entitle Post-9/11 veterans a range of priority services at their local One-Stop Career Center, including:
The intensive, personalized service the Gold Card provides will give Post-9/11 veterans the tools they need to navigate a difficult labor market and translate their military experience for civilian employers.
My Next Move for Veterans
Today, the Department of Labor will also launch a new online skills translator for servicemembers and veterans entitled My Next Move for Veterans. This easy-to-use tool will enable veterans to enter information about the knowledge, skills, and abilities gained through their previous military occupations and explore related civilian occupations. This includes job outlook information, salaries, apprenticeships, and other related education and training programs.
My Next Move for Veteransuses information developed as part of the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) system. The O*NET system is the most comprehensive source of information on the knowledge, skills, abilities, work tasks, tools, technology, and other important requirements needed to perform work for over 900 occupations covering the entire U.S. economy. Data is collected on an ongoing basis from a national representative sample of incumbent workers, as well as subject matter expert and job analysts. To date, over 40,000 businesses and 150,000 workers have participated in the O*NET data collection efforts.
The tool will be available for free online by visiting www.whitehouse.gov/vets or at One-Stop Career Centers, educational institutions, libraries, and state employment service offices.
Creating a Veterans Job Bank
Starting Monday, the Administration will launch the Veterans Job Bank, at National Resource Directory, an easy to use tool to help veterans find job postings from companies looking to hire them. It already searches over 500,000 job postings and is growing. In a few easy steps, companies can make sure the job postings on their own websites are part of this Veterans Job Bank.
The Veterans Job Bank tool will serve as a resource for veteran job seekers and employers wishing to reach veterans where they are. Beyond basic job search capabilities, the tool allows veterans to enter their military occupation specialty or code to return related civilian skills and associated job listing results.
The Administration has also engaged a number of public and private sector resources to train employers on how to “tag” job listings to help ensure veterans will be able to identify these “veteran committed” jobs as they look for employment. Such commitments include: