FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) - To help veterans leaving the military as it downsizes, the government on Wednesday started a one-stop job-shopping website for them to create resumes, connect with employers and become part of a database for companies to mine.
First lady Michelle Obama announced the new Veterans Employment Center at Fort Campbell, Ky., during a special veterans' jobs summit, which comes as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down. Unemployment among veterans who have served since September 2001 stood at 9 percent in 2013, about 1.6 percentage points higher than the overall civilian population.
The website, ebenefits.va.gov, will help veterans and military spouses build resumes, translate military skills into private-sector skills and provide career and training data with the click of a mouse.
The announcement is part of a monthlong series of events marking the third anniversary of Joining Forces, the nationwide initiative that Mrs. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Jill Biden, created in 2011 to improve employment, education and health care for active-duty service members, military families and veterans. Mrs. Obama announced to the 1,200 soldiers assembled that Joining Forces had resulted in 540,000 jobs for veterans and their spouses - far exceeding the goal of 100,000 jobs initially sought in the first two years.
Shipping giant UPS is among the corporations that have pledged to hire more veterans, recruiting 13,000 veterans in the past 12 months, said Lytana Kids, UPS vice president for workforce planning. That's about 8 percent of the parcel delivery company's overall hires, compared with 5 percent before. An integrated website would make that task even easier, she said.
Worth Sparkman, a spokesman for Tyson Foods, said the website and job fairs help the company generate "quite a bit" of interest among veterans. Tyson has committed to hiring 2,500 veterans by the end of 2014 and has already brought more than 3,000 on board.
Benefits site: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/jobs