Obama Proposes Tax Incentives for Hiring Veterans

Susan Hall

President Obama on Friday proposed new tax incentives for private employers to hire veterans, and Microsoft announced a new partnership with the Labor Department to help more than 10,000 veterans become IT certified in the next two years, reports The Washington Post.


Obama challenged private employers to hire 100,000 post-9/11 vets or their spouses by 2013, something already in the works at companies such as Cisco, AT&T, Verizon and EMC with the "100,000 Jobs Mission." According to the White House, the unemployment rate for this group is at 13.3 percent, compared with 9.1 percent in the overall economy.


Obama proposed a $2,400 tax credit for hiring an unemployed veteran and $4,800 for hiring a veteran who has been unemployed for six months or longer. An existing tax credit for hiring veterans with a service-connected disability would be raised to $9,600.


Obama also unveiled a task force within the Defense Department ordered to come up with new programs, which it calls "reverse boot camps," to ensure veterans have the skills to transition to private employment. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., in May introduced a bill that would make mandatory three days of training in job-hunting skills for those coming out of the military.


The White House says the Labor Department will unroll an "enhanced career-development and job-search service package" and the Office of Personnel Management will produce a manual to help hiring managers find veterans with the skills they need, CNN reports.


Microsoft has long been active in initiatives to hire veterans. It's donating $2 million in cash and up to $6 million in software and training to expand its Elevate America Veterans initiative, TechFlash reports.


The Post notes that Siemens has met its goal of hiring 300 veterans this year and pledges to hire 150 more. Siemens Chairman Peter Solmssen was quoted at the Obama event, saying that too often:

Employers don't know how to look beyond the four corners of a resume.

Alesia Benedict, president and CEO of getinterviews.com, told me that too often veteransfail to translate their military experience in terms that private employers understand as being an asset to their companies. She said.

One of the problems we often see with former military resumes is that they are written in "military-speak" meaning terms and buzzwords not applicable to civilian positions. ... It's not a matter of the experience itself not being valuable; the problem lies in the job seeker not "building a bridge" from the experience gained while in the Armed Forces to how a company will profit from that experience.

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