Jun 28 2012
Highlights his efforts to raise awareness about veterans’ unemployment through ‘I Hire Veterans’ initiative
Washington, D.C. -- As the co-chair and founder of the Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) joined Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), representatives from DuPont and officials from the Department of Defense at a ceremony today highlighting the value that members of the National Guard and Reserve add to private companies.
At the ceremony, DuPont formally reaffirmed their corporate commitment to the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve organization. ESGR is a Department of Defense organization that works to help civilian employers work with their Guard and Reserve employees.
“In West Virginia, our National Guard and Reserve is a source of great pride,” Senator Manchin said. “As Governor and now as Senator, when I have gone to visit our troops serving overseas, I have never failed to hear about the quality of our Guardsmen and women from commanders on the ground. Our Guard has truly stepped up to the plate – there is no difference between the missions they perform and those of our active duty troops. We need to recognize that.
“DuPont is truly walking the walk when it comes to our Guard and Reserve and to hiring veterans, and we couldn’t be more proud to have them in our state,” Senator Manchin said. “What we are seeing now is a staggering number of veterans who are unemployed, and we all have to work together to solve this crisis. Our servicemen and women are some of the best-trained and best-prepared individuals we have out there, and after all of the sacrifices they’ve made for their nation, there is no reason for them to face unemployment when they return home.”
"The Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve program and congressional and Department of Defense initiatives to insure stable employment for our citizen soldiers are vital to ensuring the success of a cost effective and capable operational reserve,” said Major General James Hoyer, West Virginia National Guard Adjutant General. “And a cost effective and capable operational reserve is vital to our nation in today's environment. The West Virginia National Guard is fortunate to have a strong ESGR and outstanding bipartisan support from our elected officials at all levels.”
In order to help put a stop the unemployment crisis among our nation’s veterans, Senator Manchin and Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) started the Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus in February. Senator Carper is also a member of the Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus.
Members of the caucus have committed to hiring veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserve on their staff, and proudly display the “I Hire Veterans” sign (attached) in their own offices. The caucus aims to inspire additional government offices and private companies to make a personal and public commitment to hiring veterans, and to display the “I Hire Veterans” sign in the same way they would display a yellow ribbon. Currently, the caucus has 31 members – Democrats and Republicans – and 24 supporting organizations. The caucus is also working to streamline employment resources for veterans and employers.
Senator Manchin spoke at the event, along with Senator Carper, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs Jessica Wright, and DuPont Senior Vice President for Human Resources Benito Cachinero.
DuPont has two facilities in West Virginia: the DuPont Washington Works facility that employs 1,800 DuPont employees and 450 contractors, and the DuPont Belle plant that employs about 425 DuPont employees and 160 contractors.
- 37,363 Guardsmen and Reservists are serving currently overseas in combat zones.
- In 2011, there were approximately 770,000 unemployed veterans, according to the Department of Labor.
- The unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any times since September 2001 was 12.1 percent in 2011.
- Young male veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 had an unemployment rate of 29.1 percent in 2011.
- 100,000 service members will be leaving active service in the next three years, many without reaching retirement.