Published On: Thu, Nov 10th, 2011

First Lady Michelle Obama Announces Private Sector Commitments to Hire 100,000 Veterans & Military Spouses

First lady Michelle Obama announced commitments from companies Thursday to hire 100,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014, a dramatic step in her Joining Forces initiative.

She said the show of support demonstrates to military families that “America has your back.”

The first Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched Joining Forces, a national initiative that mobilizes all sectors of society to give service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned.

In her keynote address to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Steps Up: Hiring our Heroes event, Michelle Obama announced that the International Franchise Association (IFA) which represents 1,100 franchises has committed to hiring 80,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014. Five thousand jobs of this commitment are promised to wounded soldiers.

Mrs. Obama also announced that the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) – which Dr. Jill Biden helped launch at the Chamber of Commerce last summer and which includes nearly 100 companies and organization, has committed to employ 20,000 military spouses.

The organizations include companies like Microsoft, Home Depot, UPS, Guidant Financial and Data Doctors.

The commitment by the International Franchise Association and the Military Spouse Employment Partnership represents a commitment to hire 100,000 veterans, wounded soldiers and military spouses by 2014.

In October, Mrs. Obama joined the President at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in announcing that the American Logistics Association (ALA) and their 270 affiliate companies committed to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014.

In addition, Mrs. Obama also announced a Veterans Job Bank – an open online resource supported by job search companies, including Simply Hired, Monster and others to help veterans and military spouses search job openings from committed employers based on their location and skills.

“When we think about what we’re announcing today, 100,000 new jobs committed and 550,000 searchable jobs online, those aren’t just numbers. There are millions of Americans all across this country who are working hard every day to find new ways to honor military families’ service,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “All of this is adding up and thanks to the IFA and MSEP, they’re part of the wave of support forming that stretches across this country.”

“First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s leadership of Joining Forces has mobilized the franchise industry to step up its longstanding effort to provide opportunities for franchise small business ownership and employment opportunities to veterans and their families,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has supported Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces initiative by conducting hiring fairs for veterans and military spouses in 100 local communities across the country and will expand that number to several hundred next year.

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