President Obama recently announced the Veterans Job Corps, a new jobs initiative for US Military veterans which is designed to create jobs for military veterans. This proposed $5B initiative is designed to help military veterans find jobs at the local, state, and federal level, primarily in jobs which the president believes would be a good fit for military veterans. Let’s take a look at the President’s proposal, then we’ll dive a little deeper into the details.
Veterans Jobs Corps Initiative
During this speech, President Obama also discusses the economic recovery and the need for extension to the payroll tax cut and other initiatives. President Obama gets to the Veterans Job Corps Initiative around the 5:40 mark. President Obama discusses the skills and talents of military veterans, including working under pressure, managing hundreds of other individuals, managing equipment worth tens of millions of dollars and more. The president also discusses some of the recent initiatives for veterans including the Post-9/11 GI Bill, New Career Resources for Military Veterans, GI Bill for Unemployed Veterans, and more.
You can read the full Veterans Job Corp transcript if you don’t wish to watch the video.
New Jobs Programs for Veterans
The Veterans Jobs Corps Initiative is primarily designed to help veterans find jobs at the local, state, and government level by providing grants to state and local governments to hire veterans in specific job categories. The primary focus is to hire veterans into government positions, such as first responders, including police officers, firefighters, and health care jobs; jobs in the Interior Department to improve parks and services, and enhance entrepreneurship programs for veterans.
More jobs for first responders. Most of the jobs in these fields currently exist at the local and state level, but with the poor economy over the last few years, many of these jobs have dried up – they have either stopped growing, or have been slashed by local governments that can no longer afford to pay for infrastructure improvements and social services. In order to get local governments hiring again in these fields, President Obama announced the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Grant funding and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants. These grants are designed to put more people in police and firefighter uniforms over the next few years. Local governments which make an effort to hire more post-9/11 veterans would be first in line for these federal grants.
20,000 jobs rebuilding local communities and national parks. The president is also recommending that Congress provide funds to rebuild our national parks, and restore local communities, by hiring up to 20,000 more people for jobs in the Interior Department over the next five years. This portion of the initiative will serve all military veterans, but there is a particular focus on providing jobs for post-9/11 veterans. Some of the goals of this program are to provide visitor programs at national parks, restore habitats, protect cultural resources, eradicate invasive species, and improve park structures, including roads, trails, visitor facilities, and more.
New entrepreneurship opportunities for veterans. President Obama is recommending expanding and improving entrepreneurship training opportunities for separating service members and veterans. The DoD and Small Business Administration are creating a two-day entrepreneurship program as part of the Transition Assistance Program that will be available to all service members when they make the military to civilian transition. The Small Business Administration will also offer military vets the access to an 8-week online training course for entrepreneurs which will help teach the basics of owning a small business. The latter program will be open to vets after the separate from the service.
How Will the Government Pay for the Veterans Jobs Corps Initiative?
President Obama recommends that Congress fund this initiative by using half the former war budget to pay down debt, and the other half to pay for this program. While that sounds good on paper (or in a sound clip), it’s still a long way from a specific plan.
What are your thoughts on the Veterans Jobs Corps Initiative?