First Lady Praises U.S. Chamber’s Veterans Program
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On Veteran’s Day, First Lady Michelle appeared at the U.S. Chamber and praised its program to help military veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment in their local communities.
During her keynote speech at the U.S. Chamber’s 4th Annual “Business Steps Up: Hiring Our Heroes” event, Obama said of the Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative, “From day one, companies large and small have stepped up to hire, retain and train our veterans and military spouses. The Chamber has led the way … especially the veterans hiring fairs that have already resulted in more than 3,400 veterans hired all over the country. Companies like Sears and Siemens, Kmart, and Sam’s Club have expanded their efforts to hire and retain even more veterans and military spouses.”
Hiring our Heroes will host hiring fairs for veterans and military spouses in 100 local communities across the country over a one-year period ending in March and will increase the number of fairs to several hundred over the following year. To date, hiring fairs have taken place in 37 states and have involved 55,000 veterans and military spouses and more than 2,500 employers. The program has helped more than 3,600 veterans and military spouses, including 50 wounded warriors, find employment.
In a statement, Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue said, “Over the past year, the White House’s Joining Forces and the Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes initiatives have been united for a common goal: to ensure that our veterans and military spouses can find jobs. While we have made great strides in the past year, there is still much to do.”
Hiring Our Heroes is launching a grassroots campaign to engage the small business community, establishing a comprehensive IT system to support the hiring events, and forming a private sector Veterans Employment Advisory Council (VEAC) comprised of America’s biggest employers across all industries and sectors.
The Chamber has dedicated a permanent veteran’s center inside its headquarters and awarded 2011 Hiring Our Heroes Awards to five private employers:
Small Business Veteran and Military Spouse Employment Award
Wounded Warrior Transition Assistance Award
APi Group, Inc.
Post-9/11 Veteran Employment and Internship Award
Union Pacific Corporation
Women Veteran and Military Spouse Employment Award
CVS Caremark Corporation
Lee Anderson Award, Veteran and Military Spouse Employment