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Press Release - First Lady Michelle Obama Announces 125,000 Veterans & Military Spouses Hired through Joining Forces

August 22, 2012

Announcement meets President's challenge one year early

WASHINGTON – Today, First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to Naval Station Mayport, Florida to announce that more than 2,000 businesses who have participated in her Joining Forces initiative have hired or trained more than 125,000 veterans and military spouses in the past year. Mrs. Obama also announced that these same companies have committed to build on the momentum to date and have pledged to hire or train 250,000 veterans and spouses in the coming years. The First Lady's event at Naval Station Mayport was livestreamed by the Department of Defense to every U.S. military base around the world.

One year ago, the President announced a series of measures to increase veterans' employment and he asked the First Lady and Dr. Biden to lead an effort with the private sector through Joining Forces to hire or train 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013. Joining Forces efforts to date have exceeded the President's challenge to the private sector with hiring milestones met more than a year early.

The First Lady also reiterated her challenge to states to pass legislation that reduces the financial and administrative strains that 100,000 military spouses incur from trying to get their state licenses or certification credentials to transfer from state to state as they move. Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden made their pitch to governors in February of this year when only 11 states had legislation on the books supporting military spouse license portability. In just six months the number of states with supportive measures in place has more than doubled to 26 states.

"The story of Joining Forces is of people across this country stepping up and doing everything they can to serve military families as well as they have served this country," said First Lady Michelle Obama. "Today's announcement is just the beginning. We're not going to stop until all our veterans know that when they hit the job market, their skills will be rewarded. And we won't stop until all our military spouses know that the next time their family is transferred, they won't have to leave their profession behind."

Companies are making new commitments to veteran employment every week. The following companies are new among the 2,000 businesses that are recognizing that hiring veterans is good for their bottom line:

  • NatLabs, Inc. committed to bring 400 jobs back to the U.S. from overseas starting in 2013 and hire veterans as 75 percent of their labor force. These 400 jobs in hi-tech manufacturing will be located in the Jacksonville, Florida, area.
  • Companies like, Dupont and Exelon have made commitments to have veterans constitute 10 percent of their new hires in the coming years.
  • The Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) – consisting of more than 140 companies – is committed to hire 50,000 military spouses in the coming years. This unique partnership is coordinated by the Department of Defense and consists of companies who have pledged to hire military spouses and support their continued employment and professional development by transferring a spouse's job with them when they move to a new military duty station. More information on MSEP can be found at: https://msepjobs.militaryonesource.mil/video/military-spouse-employment-...

A complete list of every company and their commitment to veteran and military spouse employment through Joining Forces can be found at www.joiningforces.gov/commitments

Michelle Obama, Press Release - First Lady Michelle Obama Announces 125,000 Veterans & Military Spouses Hired through Joining Forces Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/351746

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