US labor secretary touts veterans jobs initiative
Posted November 10, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis was in Raleigh Thursday promoting a new White House initiative to help veterans find jobs.
Solis talked about a new website called “My Next Move for Veterans,” which helps veterans match their military skills to careers in civilian life.
The national initiative also includes an online job bank that’s specifically geared toward service members returning from deployment.
Solis' visit came the same day that first lady Michelle Obama announced commitments from companies to hire 100,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014.
Obama and the vice president's wife, Jill Biden, launched their "Joining Forces" initiative in April to try to motivate citizens, businesses, nonprofits and community groups to do more to support military families.
It has resulted in the hiring of 16,000 veterans and spouses and pledges to hire an additional 25,000.
Unemployment is particularly high among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Labor Department estimates that 12.1 percent of veterans who served in the military since the Sept. 11, 2011, attacks were unemployed in October. That compares with the national rate of 9 percent.
Among veterans under the age of 24, the unemployment rate was closer to 22 percent.