I had the great pleasure and honor of visiting with our transitioning service members on Wednesday at a jobs summit in Fort Campbell, Ky., where the White House’s Joining Forces initiative, led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, announced a new veteran’s initiative.
The Veterans Employment Center is the first inter-agency initiative that brings public and private sector job opportunities, a resume-builder, military skills translator, and detailed career and training resources together in one place. As a military veteran, I know that this tool will help employers search and view veteran, service member, and spouse resumes in one location. As the First Lady said, “Our service members haven’t always had the time or information they needed to prepare their resumes, to plot their career goals, to meet with employers and get the jobs they deserve. And that’s simply not acceptable.” Every single service member, every veteran and every military family will have access to a new online tool that will revolutionize how you find jobs in both the public and private sectors. To access any of these resources, log on to ebenefits.va.gov.
Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and those of us here in Veterans Employment and Training Service at the Labor Department believe the new Center — along with the wealth of services his agency offers through its 2,500 American Job Centers — will connect our veterans and service members with both public and private sector employers eager to hire those with military experience.
At yesterday’s summit, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Labor, the U.S. Army, and the Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership took a critical step bringing together public, private and non-profit sector collaboration. Not only does the new initiative provide veterans with the employment resources they need, but also transitioning service members’ spouses and families of veterans. We also had Kentucky native and Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Dakota Meyer join us at the event to talk about the resources, training and opportunities available to help military personnel transition to civilian jobs.
I spoke with a number of service members and military spouses in attendance who lined up to discuss job opportunities with over 100 employers interested in the skills, leadership, teamwork and discipline our military personnel bring to any workplace. As a Vietnam veteran who served with the 101st Airborne Division, I felt a tremendous source of pride that this administration is reaching out to help our returning military heroes find meaningful employment and realize the American dream of a good job at a fair wage.
Keith Kelly is the assistant secretary of labor for veterans’ employment and training.