Today at the White House, AMVETS National Commander Gary Fry and Executive Director Stewart Hickey along with other veterans service organization leaders, joined President Obama as he announced his support for the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits - two provisions in the American Jobs Act Congress is scheduled to consider this week. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit provides firms that hire unemployed veterans with a maximum credit of $5,600 per veteran, while the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit offers firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities a maximum credit of $9,600 per veteran.
The President also announced a series of executive actions that will provide new resources for veterans to translate military experience to the private sector job market, give veterans additional career development support, and better identify companies looking to hire veterans. These initiatives include:
Veteran Gold Card: Effective today, post-9/11 veterans will be able to visit dol.gov/vets/goldcard.html 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 should 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 4, 2011 speech at the Navy Yard.
My Next Move for Veterans: The Department of Labor will launch My Next Move for Veterans (mynextmove.org/vets), 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: Today, the Administration launched the Veterans Jobs Bank, at National Resource Directory (NRD.gov), 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 continues to grow. Additionally, in a few easy steps, companies looking to hire veterans can make sure the job postings on their own Web sites are part of this Veterans Jobs Bank.
These initiatives could not have come at a more critical time. Troops are returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan only to face an intimidating national unemployment rate of 9 percent, and 12.1 percent unemployment rate for Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans who left active duty since 2001. Assistance is crucial, and together, these initiatives and tax credits will lower veteran unemployment by increasing hiring, improving resources for veterans to translate their military skills for the civilian workforce, and providing veterans with new tools to aid their search for jobs.
“AMVETS urges Congress to pass this legislation so that our Warriors will have one less war to fight when they make the inevitable transition from warfighter to civilian employee, be it now, or sometime in the future,” said AMVETS National Commander Gary L. Fry, who attended the White House briefing Monday morning.
In October, AMVETS, with support from Activision Blizzard Entertainment Call of Duty Endowment, expanded its own Career Center program consisting of more than 60 centers in Ohio, adding eight new locations in new states nationwide, including California, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Additional sites are under consideration for late 2011 and early 2012.