Today, Americans observe Veterans’ Day, an occasion to honor those who have bravely served this country. As we pay tribute to our veterans and their service, we also reflect on the society to which our men and women in uniform return – and we might not like what we find this year.
How can these figures be accurate when a recent Monster.com study revealed that 69% of employer respondents believe veterans “perform their job functions ‘much better'” than non-veterans and 98% of employer respondents who had previously employed a veteran said they would to do so again? In addition, a new ATS/Nielsen poll of manufacturing-company CEOs revealed that 85% of respondents characterize former military candidates as having “hard-to-find skills.”
Earlier this week, President Obama unveiled new initiatives to assist unemployed veterans, including the issuance of a “veterans gold card,” which grants access to case management and job counseling; an online tool called My Next Move, which matches military skills with civilian jobs; and a new employment search engine called the Veterans Jobs Bank.
At a time when sound legislative ideas too frequently fail due to partisan political entrenchment, it’s refreshing to see bipartisan support around helping veterans find work. Yesterday, the Senate overwhelmingly approved certain provisions of President Obama’s American Jobs Act, including a proposal to grant companies tax credits for hiring unemployed veterans with disabilities.
American soldiers risk life and limb to defend our freedoms. After leaving the battlefield, our service members shouldn’t have to battle the job market just to support themselves and their families. I can think of few better ways to honor our nation’s veterans.
Photo courtesy of the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts.