Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 3:27 am | Fair 45º


Tom Donohue: Hiring Our Heroes the Right Thing — and the Smart Thing — to Do

Veterans have sacrificed for us, and we should honor them with job opportunities

This Veterans Day, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and businesses across America highlighted one of the most tangible ways to honor our veterans: meaningful employment opportunities.

Nationwide, 1 million veterans are out of work. A staggering 27 percent of young veterans ages 18 to 24 are unemployed. And as forces are drawn down in Iraq and Afghanistan, tens of thousands of service members will separate from the military and enter the civilian work force. We must welcome these heroes home to an open, robust job market and work to stem the rising tide of veterans’ unemployment.

The case for hiring our heroes is an easy one. They have sacrificed for our nation, and our nation should honor their sacrifices with opportunities. But it isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s also the smart thing.

Veterans are disciplined and have proven their work ethic through military service. They’ve received world-class technical training and are able to lead and work on a team. They are flexible, adaptive, and quick problem solvers. In short, they are very attractive job candidates.

What’s more, there is a widening skills gap in America that veterans are uniquely positioned to fill. In fact, 90 percent of military occupations are directly transferable to the private sector. But one of the biggest challenges facing veterans is demonstrating how the skills they’ve honed in the military are transferable to civilian work.

For example, a chief petty officer who serves as a cook on a Naval ship must be an adept inventory manager and logistician to do his job well. That’s a skill set highly sought after in the private sector — and one that isn’t always easy to come by in applicants.

In an effort to link these qualified job seekers with top-level employment, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is partnering with state and local chambers and veterans groups to hold 100 Hiring Our Heroes job fairs across the nation. The Hiring Our Heroes program has already connected more than 55,000 veterans and military spouses with more than 2,500 employers in 37 states. More than 3,400 have gotten jobs so far. And we’re just getting started.

We’ve established a private-sector Veterans Employment Advisory Council to bring together America’s largest employers from across all industries and sectors to generate job-creation ideas for veterans. We’re also launching a nationwide grassroots campaign to get small businesses in on the action.

From top to bottom, the business community stands ready to honor those who have served us with what they rightly deserve — good jobs and a bright future.

— Tom Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.