First Lady Michelle Obama Announces Major Private Sector Commitments to Hire 100,000 Veterans and Military Spouses in Support of Joining Forces
Leading Organizations Answer President Obama’s Challenge to Private Sector to Hire & Train Veterans and Military Spouses
Washington, D.C. – Today, in her keynote address to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Steps Up: Hiring our Heroes event, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that the International Franchise Association (IFA) which represents 1,100 franchises has committed to hiring 80,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014. 5,000 jobs of this commitment are promised to wounded warriors. Mrs. Obama also announced that the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) – which Dr. Jill Biden helped launch at the Chamber of Commerce last summer and which includes nearly 100 companies and organizations – has committed to employ 20,000 military spouses. These organizations include companies like Microsoft, Home Depot and Citi and franchises like UPS, Guidant Financial and Data Doctors. Together, the commitment by the International Franchise Association and the Military Spouse Employment Partnership represents a commitment to hire 100,000 veterans, wounded warriors and military spouses by 2014.
The IFA and MSEP are supporting Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden’s Joining Forces initiative and answering President Obama’s challenge to the private sector to offer jobs and career opportunities to veterans, wounded warriors and their families. Last month, the First Lady joined the President at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in announcing that the American Logistics Association (ALA) and their 270 affiliate companies committed to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014.
As part of the Joining Forces program’s focus on employment, the First Lady also announced a Veterans Job Bank tool, an open online resource supported by nearly a dozen technology and job search companies, including Simply Hired, Monster, and others to help veterans and military spouses search job openings from committed employers based on their location and skills. The Job Bank is designed with a simple, easy to use approach which is why last week, companies like Guidant Financial and Data Doctors learned about the tool and were able to quickly tag their postings, now part of the 550,000+ jobs available to veterans and military spouses today.
“When we think about what we’re announcing today, 100,000 new jobs committed and 550,000 searchable jobs online, those aren’t just numbers. There are millions of Americans all across this country who are working hard every day to find new ways to honor military families’ service,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “All of this is adding up and thanks to the IFA and MSEP, they’re part of the wave of support forming that stretches across this country.”
“Over the past year, the White House’s Joining Forces and the Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes initiatives have been united for a common goal: to ensure our veterans and military spouses can find jobs,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “While we have made great strides in the past year, there is still much to do. Our partnership with Joining Forces will continue, as we spread this movement across the country to create an environment in which thousands of military veterans and military spouses can find meaningful employment in their local communities.”
“First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s leadership of Joining Forces has mobilized the franchise industry to step up its longstanding effort to provide opportunities for franchise small business ownership and employment opportunities to veterans and their families,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. “Franchising, due to its structured, scalable model, is an engine of job creation and provides a tremendous opportunity for returning veterans and their families to join the franchise industry and help lead the country to economic recovery. We are grateful and proud to be part of the White House Joining Forces Initiative.”
“Military spouses face unique challenges when pursuing careers, with time constraints and portability issues topping the list of obstacles. The Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) aims to solve these challenges by connecting military spouses to career opportunities available through MSEP's employment partners,” said Dr. Jo Ann Rooney, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. “The Joining Forces effort, led by the First Lady and Dr. Biden are helping to address the issue of military spouse employment in a very personal and direct way -- by connecting jobs opportunities with the military spouses who need them.”
Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden created Joining Forces to bring Americans together to recognize, honor and take action to support military families as they serve our country and throughout their lives. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has supported their initiative by conducting hiring fairs for veterans and military spouses in 100 local communities across the country and will expand that number to several hundred next year.
For more information, visit JoiningForces.gov.