As of a year ago, nearly 800,000 veterans were without jobs.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), a former Air Force crew chief, is working to address that job shortage as a leading member of the Congressional Veterans Job Caucus.
“We all know the economic crisis facing our country and how hard it is to find work; the same is true for our veterans,” Denham said. “We must welcome these men and women home with open arms and empower them to use the skills they have to get jobs.”
Denham launched the caucus for the new, 113th Congress on Wednesday. Members of the caucus spoke across Capitol Hill, discussing their efforts and the “I Hire Veterans” initiative. The initiative asks businesses to display their commitment to hiring veterans by displaying an “I Hire Veterans” logo on storefront windows.
The caucus also looks to raise awareness of veteran unemployment, promote veterans' employment initiatives, and work with various organizations to remove barriers to veteran employment. Last year, Denham and the caucus led the passage of the Veteran Skills to Jobs Act, which streamlined the federal certification process to make it easier for veterans to transition into related civilian fields.
“I’m proud to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle to uphold our commitment to our veterans, and we invite members of the public – especially business owners – to join us in this important mission,” Denham said.
Denham will co-chair the bipartisan, bicameral caucus with U.S. Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Mark Kirk (R-IL). The caucus began during the last congress.
The caucus is comprised of 38 Senators and 43 Representatives, and endorsed by 24 veteran or military service organizations and eight major corporations. Those corporations, including new partners Walmart and UPS, have pledged to hire 200,000 veterans in the next five years.
“Walmart is pleased to join the Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus and to advance the work of hiring our nation’s heroes,” said Bill Simon, President and CEO Walmart U.S. “Walmart has committed to hiring 100,000 veterans over the next five years, and we are grateful that Sens. Manchin and Kirk and Reps. Walz and Denham are making veterans a priority on Capitol Hill. By bringing together employers and elected officials, we can drive real change on behalf of those who served our nation in uniform.”
For more information, visit http://denham.house.gov/HireAVet.