By Andrea Salazar
President Obama is using his executive authority to try and put veterans back to work with new tools to connect returning soldiers to civilian jobs.
Obama announced those tools during a Rose Garden speech today in which he called on Congress to pass two parts of his American Jobs Act – the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors Tax Credits.
“We’re here today to try to take some steps to better serve today’s veterans in a rough economy,” he said. “These are the kinds of Americans who every company should want to hire. And yet…more than 850,000 veterans remain unemployed.”
The White House initiatives include an online veteran’s jobs bank, a Veteran’s Gold Card that gives veterans six months of personalized counseling and case management and My Next Move For Veterans – a website connecting veterans with civilian jobs.
“Having served and defended our nation, it just doesn’t make sense that many of these well-trained, highly-skilled and motivated individuals can’t find a job worthy of their incredible talent,” said Matt Flavin, director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy, on the increasing number of unemployed post-9/11 veterans.
Aneesh Chopra, U.S. chief technology officer, said Monday that the initiatives would use existing resources and would reduce veteran unemployment.
“These particular technology initiatives are meant to reduce the time it takes for a veteran to find an available job,” Chopra said. “That would reduce the unemployment rate, even if it hasn’t increased the net number of new jobs.
Flavin, however, emphasized that the initiatives are “not a substitute for robust congressional action” that would create jobs.
The Senate will debate the tax credits this week. The measures would give businesses up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been unemployed for longer than six months and up to $9,600 for hiring disabled veterans.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) followed the president’s remarks by saying that the House passed a veterans job training bill in October, which Senate has yet to act on it.
Originally for Talk Radio News Service.