Veterans Jobs Corps Initiative – Creating Public Service Jobs for Vets

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?

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Date published: February 7, 2012.

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Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of this site. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is currently serving in the IL Air National Guard. He also writes about money management, small business, and career topics at Cash Money Life. You can also see his profile on Google.


  1. Jarhead says

    While I agreein in theory with what the President is trying to do I have to question his motivation. With the upcoming DOD cutbacks and the resulting drawdown I feel that the Presidant is just throwing this out there pandering for votes.

    There are plenty of services and programs now available to veterans to get jobs. They already get preference in hiring for Federal jobs and many State, and local governments give military priority for jobs. Also many law enforcement agencies including federal, state, and local allow veterans to count a portion of their time served towards retirement benefits from said agencies.

    What really need to happen is that veterans need to take responsibility for their own lives and use the programs that are available to them. Use education benefits while in uniform and then again once out of the service. The post 9/11 GI bill as well as the Montgomery GI bill are awesome programs that many veterans choose not to use.

    I have spent 17 years in the Marine Corps and I find too often that a Marine’s “plan” when they get out is to go home and live with Mom & Dad and get a job/go to school. Most never do anything once they get home and end up working a minimum wage job and then complain that no one is doing anything to help them and they supported their country.

    The work ethic that was common in earlier generations has gone the wayside and too many of today’s youth live in a gimme gimme world and expect the government to take care of them. It is time for Government to get out of the lives of the citizens and make people responsible for their actions.

  2. Debbra Salo says

    Veterans Preference is not handled consistently by employers. I was hired by the Federal Government, infact, and through layers and layers of Human Resource bureaucracy, I was told documents I provided couldn’t be found, and then their interpretation of Veterans Preference qualification changed. I have personnel files that went from 10 pt preference, to 5 pt preference, to zero preference, then back to 5 pt preference. It’s unbelievable how incompetent (that’s if I’m being optomistic about their intentions) the people in Human Resource are when it comes to Veterans Preference. To this date, my records as the Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census has maintained, is inaccurate, after I have provided all mandatory DD-214 and VA documentation. I can push AGAIN to fix their errors, but why would I. It’ll probably end up with zero Vet Preference again. (All of these errors in personnel records occurred during rounds of promotions and competetive applications for other positions within the Census. But who has the energy to fight this CRAP!)

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