Leading veterans' organizations today joined President Obama at the White House and announced their support for the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits, two provisions in the American Jobs Act Congress is scheduled to consider this week. President Obama also announced three executive actions that will help veterans find jobs. Today's announcement is part of a series of executive actions to put Americans back to work and strengthen the economy.
The Returning Heroes Tax Credit provides firms that hire unemployed veterans with a maximum credit of $5,600 per veteran. The Wounded Warriors Tax Credit offers firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities with a maximum credit of $9,600 per veteran.
"No veteran should have to fight for a job at home after they fight for our nation overseas," said President Obama. "Congress should pass the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior tax credits, but we can't wait for Congress to act. That's why today, I am directing my Administration to move forward with three initiatives that will help make it easier for veterans to find jobs when they return home."
The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars announced their support for the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits.
"The American Legion, on behalf of its 2.4-million members, appreciates the efforts of President Obama and Congress to curb the unacceptably high rate of unemployment among the men and women who have selflessly served our country," said Peter Gaytan, Executive Director of the Washington D.C. office of the American Legion. "Tax credits will augment the good and patriotic intentions of employers with tangible, financial incentives. The rewards will be great for them and, most importantly, for the most deserving of our citizens, our military veterans."
"It's time to pull out the stops. After their service to the country, our war fighters have been hit disproportionately hard by the economic downturn with unemployment rates that eclipse their non-military cohorts," said Bob Wallace, executive director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. "Without using every option available to assist them, unemployment for veterans will only rise with the draw-down of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are proud to see that the Administration has recognized the immediate needs of our veterans by focusing on extending and improving tax credits for job-creators who wish to hire hard-working, battle-proven leaders."
"The Disabled American Veterans welcomes any and all efforts to encourage businesses to hire veterans," said DAV National Commander Donald L. Samuels. "President Obama's plan will be an added incentive to do so. The men and women who have served and sacrificed for our nation deserve a square deal in the job market."
"We applaud President Obama for continuing to lead on this important issue. With new veteran unemployment increasing for the second month in a row, this announcement could not have come at a more critical time. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are coming home to unacceptable levels of joblessness. By offering tax credits to companies that hire veterans, and setting in motion the reverse boot camp announced in August, the New Greatest Generation will have increased opportunities to lead at home," said IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff. "There is no better way to show veterans that Washington really honors their service this Veterans Day (11/11/11) than by unanimously passing this legislation."
The President also launched a series of initiatives that will make it easier for veterans to find jobs. Those initiatives include:
Veteran Gold Card: Effective today, Post-9/11 veterans will be able to to 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 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.