WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez today urged employers to recruit and hire transitioning service members and veterans because they possess "essential skills that companies are looking for: leadership, problem-solving and teamwork." Perez made his remarks at the department's annual Salute to Veterans, which was held to honor the sacrifices of our nation's veterans and in observance of Veterans Day.
Perez said the same fortitude and resilience service members and veterans have exhibited in the military can be brought successfully to bear in civilian work; and businesses recruit and hire veterans "because they know it's as sound a business decision as they can make." Veterans receive priority of service — including career counseling and job placement — at nearly 2,600 American Job Centers nationwide. More information on American Job Centers is available at http://jobcenter.usa.gov. To find American Job Center locations, go to http://www.servicelocator.org.
Several of the department's efforts to assist service members and veterans transition to civilian careers that Perez discussed include:
- My Next Move for Veterans, an online tool where veterans can enter their military occupation code and discover civilian occupations for which they are well-qualified, at http://www.mynextmove.org/vets/.
- An overhaul of the Transition Assistance Program, which helps exiting service members prepare for civilian life. More information about this program is available at http://www.militaryonesource.mil/transition.
- A collaborative program called the Women Veterans Initiative, which is designed to address the issue of women veterans unemployment.
- Examples of the work of this initiative include the Symposium on Women Veterans' Employment: Skills Matter held at the department on Aug. 29, 2013, and the Trauma-Informed Care for Women Veterans Experiencing Homelessness guide.
- More information on this initiative can be found at http://www.dol.gov/vets/womenveterans/.
Keith Kelly, the assistant secretary of labor who heads the Veterans' Employment and Training Service and a Vietnam War veteran, told the audience: "The federal government has taken great strides to help our veterans as they transition from military service and we at the department are doing our part as a key member of the president's team." Read Kelly's Honoring Veterans through Opportunity blog post.
Following remarks from Perez and Kelly, panelists engaged in a roundtable discussion on the department's educational and training programs available for transitioning service members and the critical role that public-private partnerships play in assisting veterans. Panelist included: Sergeant Dakota Meyer, recipient of the Medal of Honor; Eric Eversole, executive director of Hiring Our Heroes at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation; Jose Serans, veteran and graduate of the Veterans In Piping apprenticeship, a high-quality skills training program in the pipe trades for service members and veterans run by the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States, Canada and Australia; and Terry Gerton, deputy assistant secretary for policy at the Veterans' Employment and Training Service.
More information on Veterans' Employment and Training Service can be found at http://www.dol.gov/vets/ and the Veterans' Employment & Training Services Service Desk can be reached at 1-866-237-0275.
Editor's Note: The captions for the photographs are in the order in which they appear. 1) During the department's Salute to Veterans, Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez says veterans have essential skills that make them assets in the workplace. 2) The My Next Move for Veterans website is an online resource for service members and veterans who need assistance in their transition to civilian life. 3) This is a video of Secretary Perez's remarks during the Symposium on Women Veterans' Employment: Skills Matter. 4) Keith Kelly, the assistant secretary of labor who heads the Veterans' Employment and Training Service, talks about the sacrifice and service that veterans made for our nation. And 5) Medal of Honor Recipient Dakota Meyer (center) participates in a discussion that included his experiences in transitioning to civilian life. With him at the department's Salute to Veterans are (far left) Eric Eversole, executive director of Hiring Our Heroes at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation; Jose Serans, veteran and graduate of the Veterans In Piping apprenticeship, a high-quality skills training program in the pipe trades for service members and veterans run by the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States, Canada and Australia; Dakota Meyer (center); (near right) Terry Gerton, deputy assistant secretary of policy for the department's Veterans' Employment and Training Service; and (far right) Patrick Murphy, Iraq war veteran and former Congressman.