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Remarks Introducing James F. Oates, Jr., Chairman, Jobs for Veterans Program.

November 24, 1970

Ladies and gentlemen:

During the next year over 1 million men will be separated from the armed services. As they return to the United States and to civilian life, about a third of them will go back to school; two-thirds of them will be ready to enter the labor market.

It is vitally important, we feel in this administration and I think generally everybody in this country feels, that those who do go to work and want the opportunity to go to work have jobs.

Our indication of the priority we put on this project is the appointment of Mr. James Oates, in charge of the program within the Government and also in charge of a program to mobilize the entire Nation in the private sectors, business, labor unions, and other organizations, so that the jobs will be available for these men who have served the Nation.

I believe that all of us recognize that we owe a debt of gratitude to our young men who have served America during this period, and the way we best pay that debt is to provide them an opportunity for employment, an opportunity that they deserve, an opportunity which I know they will fulfill with very high distinction.

I would like to indicate the reason that I think Mr. Oates is the ideal man to head up this program. He is a man who brings enormous prestige to the position. He will be able to speak to leaders all over the Nation, within Government and out of Government, with great impact. He is a man who has very great organizational ability as demonstrated by his years as chief executive officer of the Equitable Life Assurance company.

But as his own statement to you will indicate at this point, above everything else he has a great deal of enthusiasm. He believes in this program and he will be able to, I think, communicate that enthusiasm to the leaders in Government, the members of the Cabinet and the sub-Cabinet who have responsibilities in this area; to the leaders of business, 900,000 business firms who may be able to offer jobs; to the leaders of labor unions; and to others who might be interested.

Mr. Oates now will make a statement and then will answer your questions on this vitally important program.

Note: The President spoke at 11:15 a.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.

Following the President's remarks, Mr. Oates, Secretary of Labor James D. Hodgson, Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird, and Administrator of Veterans Affairs Donald E. Johnson held a news briefing on the program. The transcript of the briefing was released by the White House on the same day.

Richard Nixon, Remarks Introducing James F. Oates, Jr., Chairman, Jobs for Veterans Program. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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