ABC News’ Mary Bruce (@marykbruce) Reports:
The president today proposed new tax credits to encourage companies to hire the nation’s one million unemployed veterans, saying “servicemen and women need to know that America values them not simply for what they can do in uniform, but for what they can do when they come home.”
“Today we're saying to our veterans, you fought for us and now we're fighting for you, for the jobs and opportunities that you need to keep your families strong and to keep America competitive in the 21st century. And at a time when there is so much work to be done in this country, we need everyone's help to do it,” the president said in a speech at the Washington Navy Yard.
The president called for a “Returning Heroes Tax Credit” ranging from $2,400 to $4,800 for companies that hire unemployed veterans and an increase in an existing tax credit for companies that hire unemployed service members with disabilities. “The bottom line is this: We still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do to give folks the economic security and opportunity they deserve. And that begins with connecting Americans looking for work, including our veterans, with employers looking to hire,” the president said.
In addition to tax incentives, the president proposed a “reverse boot camp” to help veterans transition back into the workforce. The idea is just one concept that will be considered by a new task force working to ensure the career readiness of veterans.
“The problem is that right now we spend months preparing our men and women for life in the military, but we spend much less time preparing them for life after they get out. So we'll devote more time on the back end, to help our veterans learn about everything from benefits to how they can translate their military training into an industry- accepted credential,” Obama said.