Obamas Announce Initiative to Hire Military Veterans

Posted October 19th, 2011 at 3:15 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. first lady Michelle Obama has announced that a group of U.S. firms has committed to hiring 25,000 military veterans and their spouses over the next two years.

Mrs. Obama spoke at a gathering of U.S. service members in Hampton, Virginia, as she accompanied her husband, President Barack Obama, on the final day of a three-day bus tour pushing for public approval of his $447-billion jobs creation plan.

The initiative is meant to help veterans find jobs after they finish their military commitments, at a time when the national unemployment rate is stuck at just over nine percent.

Afterward, President Obama added that after fighting for the country overseas, the last thing veterans should have to do is fight for a job when they come home. He also noted that military spouses struggle to find employment as they move from military base to military base.

Mr. Obama also used the opportunity Wednesday to repeat his call for Congress to approve his jobs creation initiatives, which are expected to be debated in Congress piece by piece after the entire package failed to win Senate approval last week.

The president made the call during his veterans' speech in Hampton and later in the day at a fire station in North Chesterfield, Virginia. He said while the private sector adds jobs, state and local governments are being forced to cut the jobs of public workers to save money.

The Senate is likely to soon consider a provision of the bill that would give states about $35 billion to hire more teachers, police and firefighters.

Mr. Obama has said the next measure that he wants lawmakers to consider is infrastructure spending to improve roads, bridges and airports.

The Republicans are proposing their own jobs plan and a senior Republican senator has suggested that Republicans and Democrats meet to see if they could “find a breakthrough.”