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Michelle Obama also announced that a number of the country’s largest companies have decided to increase the amount of veterans they hire in order to get the nation’s brave men and women back to work as operations overseas wind down.
While Home Depot probably doesn’t need a sniper, Michelle Obama essentially insisted that veterans of foreign wars can handle a job interview.
“Today we need you to start thinking and talking about yourselves for a change,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to brag a little bit about yourselves.”
Michelle Obama: Companies on board
She also spoke of specific companies’ promises to hire veterans. Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF) has pledged to hire 55,000 veterans and their spouses, United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) who had previously committed to hiring 25,000 vets has now doubled that number, Xerox Corp (NYSE:XRX) has committed to hiring 10,000 veterans, and a number of companies have made smaller commitments.
“Today, more than 100 companies have come here for one purpose — to hire you,” she said at a jobs summit here for transitioning veterans. “We’ve got your backs.”
“If you want a job, you can’t be modest about your qualifications,” Obama said. “Anyone out there would be lucky to have you on their team.”
How many veterans are out of work?
The Veterans Employment Center, which will allow veterans to post resumes and direct them to the jobs that they might be fit for also allows servicemen and servicewomen to see what jobs are available, is accessible at www.ebenefits.va.gov.
The veteran jobless rate is down considerably from last year when it was 9.2%. It presently sits just above the overall national rate of 6.7% at 6.9%. At any given time, roughly 700,000 to 800,000 veterans are looking for work with about 240,000 of those having become veterans following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“As my husband said, ‘You fought for us; you shouldn’t have to fight for a job,’ ” the first lady said.
Maj. Gen. James C. McConville said the Army has a responsibility to make sure its veterans can move smoothly into civilian life with good jobs earlier in the day.
He said that his father who was also a veteran was able to”send all his kids to college and live the American dream” thanks to the G.I. Bill and steady employment.
“And that’s what we owe our veterans today,” McConville said.