A group of technology and energy companies have committed to hire or train 90,000 veterans and military spouses in the next five years, First Lady Michelle Obama announced last week during an event marking the fourth anniversary of the Joining Forces initiative.
When the effort to raise awareness among all Americans about the service, sacrifice and needs of military families initially was launched, President Obama challenged the private sector to hire 100,000 veterans and spouses.
Now, less than four years later, “America’s businesses have continued to race past my husband’s initial goal, and together, those businesses who answered the president’s call have hired or trained more than 850,000 veterans and military spouses,” the first lady said.
The commitment from technology and energy firms is particularly valuable as those industries are driving economic growth, reported DOD News.
The president recently announced the expansion of a pilot program to train transitioning service members for jobs in the solar industry. The Solar Energy Industries Association is pledging to hire or train 33,000 veterans and spouses over the next five years, the first lady said.
The corporate hiring initiatives typically involve a partnership between industry and educational institutions involving job training, internships and apprenticeships.
The Joining Forces event was held in Manassas, Va., at Micron Technologies, which makes memory-storage devices. The manufacturer is participating in a pilot program through the Northern Virginia Technology Council to match student veterans at local institutions of higher learning to 50 high-tech companies throughout the region.
“Veterans get hands-on experience and the companies connect with a pipeline of top-notch talent,” Obama said. The northern Virginia partnership is one of many across the country helping veterans and military spouses, she added.