Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, was created in 1919 to commemorate the ending of World War I, called the “War to End All Wars.”
But that wasn’t the end of war, and whether in actual conflict or serving as our representatives around the world, our servicemen and women deserve our respect and our thanks. So, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, we celebrate their service.
The tragedy facing today’s veterans is the high rate of unemployment they experience. As the job market improves, that rate decreases; however, it’s still higher than that for the general population. The jobs report last week showed that although the unemployment rate is down to a low 5.8%, for post 9/11 veterans, that number sits at 7.2%.
In an environment where companies are looking for qualified employees, they really need to look no further than our veterans. They’re reliable and dependable. Many have leadership skills and most do well in stressful situations. Last year’s Veteran’s Day blog listed some of the organizations that were dedicated to helping veterans find jobs. Among those was Hiring Our Heroes, a program started by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in partnership with public, private, and non-profit organizations and companies. As of this point in time, they’ve inspired more than 1,700 businesses to hire more than 260,000 veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses. Another resource companies can use is 100,000 Jobs Mission, a coalition of major corporations committed to hire veterans and to help service members through their transition back to civilian life.
The transportation industry is a perfect fit. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has awarded $1 million in grant to nine technical and community colleges across the country to help train returning military veterans for jobs as commercial bus or truck drivers.
We urge companies of all sizes to consider these men and women as top candidates. This is a wonderful and appropriate way to honor them. So today, whether or not you’re attending a parade or celebration, make sure to acknowledge any veterans you know, and thank them for their service.