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First lady to businesses: Hire more vets

Apr. 30, 2013 - 02:43PM   |  
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WASHINGTON — First lady Michelle Obama is praising businesses for hiring more military veterans — and also asking them to do more.

“Today, we are proud to announce that America’s businesses have hired or trained 290,000 veterans and military spouses (over the past two years), almost triple the original goal,” Mrs. Obama writes in an op-ed appearing on Fortune.com

“In addition,” she adds, “companies like Wal-Mart, UPS, Home Depot, the Blackstone Group, Target, and McDonald’s have committed to hire or train another 435,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years.”

Mrs. Obama, who co-write the piece with vice presidential spouse Jill Biden, also says the unemployment rate for veterans remains too high, and “we still have work to do.”

Mrs. Obama and Biden plan to drive this message home at an event Tuesday with President Obama and Vice President Biden.

In urging more veterans’ hiring, Mrs. Obama says:

“That’s why, in his budget, President Obama proposed a permanent extension of the tax credits he signed into law for businesses that hire unemployed veterans and wounded warriors.

“We’ve also been working with governors and state legislators to revamp state laws to give our troops credit for the skills they’ve learned in the military when they apply for professional licenses and credentials here at home.

“In addition, we’ve created new partnerships between the armed forces and the manufacturing and information technology industries to ensure that our servicemembers are trained for good jobs.

“But ultimately, it’s up to our companies to actually hire veterans for these jobs.

“So today, we need business leaders across this country to ask themselves, ‘What can my company do for these men and women who have served our country so bravely?’ ”

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