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US starts effort to boost hiring of veterans

Associated Press / November 10, 2009

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WASHINGTON - The White House launched a program yesterday that it said will turn the government into the model employer of military veterans.

President Obama signed an executive order creating the Veterans Employment Initiative. The program will underscore for federal agencies the importance of recruiting and training military veterans. It also will be charged with bringing more veterans into the federal work force and helping newly hired veterans adjust to working in a civilian environment.

Obama said honoring the nation’s pact with its veterans means doing everything possible to help them find work when they come home.

The executive order also will create an interagency Council on Veterans Employment that will advise the president.

The nation will observe Veterans Day tomorrow.

The unemployment rate among people who served in the military since 2001 was 11.6 percent in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Eighteen percent of veterans who left the military in the past one to three years were unemployed, says a 2008 Department of Veterans Affairs survey.

Of those veterans who had found work, 25 percent earned less than $21,840 per year.