Private Sector Easily Surpasses Joining Forces’ Hiring Goal

Employers have trained or hired 380,000 veterans and military spouses through the Joining Forces initiative in less than three years, exceeding by almost four times the program’s initial hiring goal.

First Lady Michelle Obama noted the milestone last week before representatives from 350 local and national companies at Walk Disney World as part of a forum designed to encourage companies to hire and train separating service members. She took the opportunity to urge employers to redouble their efforts to recruit veterans.

“That’s outstanding. But it’s not enough,” she said during the keynote speech for a day-long conference of workshops and seminars on hiring veterans. “We need you all to really dig deep. We need you to double down,” Obama said, reported the Orlando Sentinel.

Disney exceeded a commitment it made last year to hire more than 1,000 veterans by 2015, and in March pledged to create opportunities for another 1,000 service members over the next two years.

Since Obama and Jill Biden launched Joining Forces, the jobless rate for veterans who served after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has fallen from 12.1 percent in 2011 to 9.9 percent in 2012.

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