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White House Adopts Kaptur Proposal in Veterans Job Corps Initiative

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur applauded the Obama Administration's new Veterans Job Corps initiative, a comprehensive jobs program for our nation's unemployed veterans modeled after President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps and other proven programs.

"This is a huge victory for veterans across the country who continue to struggle to find work in this tough economy," said Kaptur. "This effort will allow veterans to continue their record of service to our nation through public works projects and employment as first responders and law enforcement officers," said Kaptur.

Congresswoman Kaptur introduced a bill last year, the 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps Act (H.R. 494), as a means of providing gainful employment to unemployed and underemployed citizens through public works projects. She personally proposed the idea to President Obama when he visited Ohio last year and is pleased to see it take shape today.

"FDR with help from General George Marshall set up the original CCC in very short order. In three months, there were 1,463 working camps and 317,000 employees. I can only hope we get this program in place and operational with the same urgency the Roosevelt Administration did in 1933, so we can meet the needs of our nation's veterans who have sacrificed so much for us," Kaptur said.

According to numbers released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 815,000 unemployed American veterans. Veterans who have served since September 11, 2001 have the highest unemployment rate. Progress has been made for these new veterans with the unemployment rate falling from 15.2 percent in January 2011 to 9.1 percent in January 2012, but the rate remains persistently high as more veterans are returning home from overseas deployments. Also troubling is the high rate of unemployment for female, post-9/11 veterans; the January 2011 rate was 13.5 percent, but has jumped to 17.3 percent a year later.

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