A broad coalition of more than 100 construction companies and associations have committed to hiring 100,000 veterans over the next five years, First Lady Michelle Obama announced Monday during a conference focusing on employment challenges for transitioning service members.
“I know that you all have made this commitment not just because it is the patriotic thing to do … [but also] because you know that America’s military turns out some of the highest-skilled, hardest working employees this country has ever seen,” Obama said in remarks delivered at the National Symposium on Veterans’ Employment in Construction.
The symposium, co-hosted by Joining Forces and the Department of Labor, brought together construction industry officials, government leaders and education professionals.
“We did this because we wanted to inspire businesses and organizations across the country to ask them one simple question: … What more can we do to honor and support our veterans and military families?” said Obama, reported American Forces Press Service.
The first lady also addressed one barrier to veterans finding jobs immediately after they separate — the failure of states and other authorities to recognize skills they gained in the military. Now service members nationwide participate in apprenticeships and accredited civilian training programs close to where they are stationed, Obama said, and DOD is working to help them apply military training toward earning civilian credentials in fields such as plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
Following the announcement, the Labor Department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service hosted industry leaders and led roundtable discussions on topics related to veterans’ employment and training.