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On Wednesday First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to Naval Station Mayport, home of the Navy's 4th Fleet to announce that more than 2,000 businesses who have participated in the Joining Forces initiative and have hired or trained more than 125,000 veterans and military spouses over the past year.
Mrs. Obama also announced that these same companies have committed to build on the momentum to date and have pledged to hire or train 250,000 veterans and spouses in the coming years.
The First Lady’s event at Naval Station Mayport was livestreamed by the Department of Defense to every U.S. military base around the world.
A year ago, President Obama announced a series of measures to increase veterans employment and appointed the First Lady and Dr. Biden to lead an effort with the private sector through Joining Forces to hire or train 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013.
Joining Forces efforts to date have exceeded the hiring milestones over a year early.
The program also challenges states to pass legislation that reduces the financial and administrative strains that 100,000 military spouses incur from trying to get their state licenses or certification credentials to transfer from state to state as they move.
Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden made their pitch to governors in February of this year. At that time only 11 states had legislation supporting military spouse license portability.
Over the past six months the states with license portability measures in place has more than doubled to 26 states.
“The story of Joining Forces is of people across this country stepping up and doing everything they can to serve military families as well as they have served this country,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Today’s announcement is just the beginning. We’re not going to stop until all our veterans know that when they hit the job market, their skills will be rewarded. And we won’t stop until all our military spouses know that the next time their family is transferred, they won’t have to leave their profession behind.”
Companies are making new commitments to veteran employment every week. The following companies are new among the 2,000 businesses that are recognizing that hiring veterans is good for their bottom line:
NatLabs, Inc. committed to bring 400 jobs back to the U.S. from overseas starting in 2013 and hire veterans as 75 percent of their labor force. These 400 jobs in hi-tech manufacturing will be located in the Jacksonville, Florida, area.
Dupont and Exelon have made commitments to have veterans constitute 10 percent of their new hires in the coming years.
The Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) – consisting of more than 140 companies – is committed to hire 50,000 military spouses in the coming years. This unique partnership is coordinated by the Department of Defense and consists of companies who have pledged to hire military spouses and support their continued employment and professional development by transferring a spouse’s job with them when they move to a new military duty station.
If you are in the military or are the spouse of a military service member go here for more information on MSEP Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP)
A complete list of every company and their commitment to veteran and military spouse employment through Joining Forces can be found on the official Joining Forces page
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