First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden joined the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell on Wednesday at a comprehensive Veterans Jobs Summit and Career Forum.
The First Lady and Dr. Biden's message was clear: our commitment to our service members and their families does not end when their service does, which is why they launched Joining Forces three years ago this month.
Since then, companies who have made commitments to Joining Forces have hired over half a million (540,000) veterans and military spouses. Commitments from America’s biggest firms like UPS, who announced a doubling of their commitment to 50,000 new hires and Xerox who will has committed to hire 10,000 veterans and spouses over the next five years.
In June 2011, Dr. Biden launched the Military Spouse Employment Partnership with close to 60 companies. Today, Dr. Biden announced there are 228 partner employers with more than 1.8 million jobs posted on the MSEP Career Portal with more than 60,000 military spouse hires.
To help even more veterans and military spouses make the transition to civilian employment, Wednesday’s brought together the U.S. Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army’s Army Career and Alumni Program, Soldier for Life, and Installation Management Command, and local government agencies and chambers of commerce for a free employment summit and career forum on base. Interactive forums and panel discussions focused specifically on transitioning service members and providing them the resources they need to manage their transition - especially finding a job.
In fact, every branch of our military has adopted a new approach: every member of our armed forces will start preparing for their transition months before they leave - they'll be drafting resumes, attending job fairs and summits like this one, applying for college if they want, and mapping out their next steps well before they hang up their uniform.
At the Summit, the First Lady unveiled the Administration's Online Veterans Employment Center. This new online platform supports transitioning service members, veterans, and their spouses looking for new career opportunities. In 2011 the President called for a career-ready military, and led the first major transformation of the military transition process. He called on all of the federal government to work together to redesign the way we provide transition assistance and create clear pathways connecting our Veterans to meaningful careers.
The new Employment Center helps simplify the job search process by providing a single website which brings together the most important online career tools within government. This tool is a result of collaboration between the Department of Defense, Department of Labor, Office of Personnel Management, Small Business Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Job seekers can use the “military skills translator” to match military career tracks with civilian occupations and critical skills, create and upload a resume online, and find public and private job openings in a single search. Employers are provided with a direct feed of resumes from Veteran applicants, can view reverse skills translation (military to civilian skills) for applicants, and can make public their own Veterans hiring goals.
Veterans will have access to:
Employers will have access to:
The Veterans Employment Center can be found at: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/jobs.
Colonel Rich Morales is Executive Director of Joining Forces.