August 28, 2012

DuPont signs on to hire veterans | Charleston Gazette

BELLE, W.Va. -- Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., joined DuPont officials Tuesday to announce that the company is the first national corporation to endorse the "I Hire Veterans" project.

"When the company hires new employees, 10 percent will be veterans," Manchin said Tuesday morning outside the company's plant in Belle.

DuPont plans to hire 30 to 50 additional people during the next year, said James O'Connor, manager of DuPont's facilities in Belle.

"It is our goal that this plant will continue to operate for many years. We have invested $75 million in the plant over the last two years, creating hundreds of construction jobs," O'Connor said.

DuPont also created 100 new jobs at the plant itself.

More new employees will be hired, O'Connor said, because "over 250 people are reaching the end of their careers here."

Manchin and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., created the Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus back in March.

Manchin said Tuesday that more than 750,000 veterans around the country are unemployed.

"We are fighting a terrible war [in Afghanistan]," Manchin said. "We have to get out of this thing. But we have to support our veterans....

"Veterans in their 20s have a 20 percent unemployment rate," he added.

The Veterans Jobs Caucus is working to help veterans find jobs that match their skills.

"We know there are a lot of veterans with good skill sets," Manchin said. "We will go out to each state to help them."

Noting businesses ranging from "major corporations like DuPont to little retail stores downtown" hire veterans, Manchin urged customers to "support products and businesses that hire veterans. This is a serious problem.

"We appreciate what you and small businesses all over America are doing," Manchin said to O'Connor.

The Veterans Jobs Caucus was formally launched March 28. More information is available at:

The VOW to Hire Heroes Act, passed by Congress in 2011, also provides tax credits to businesses that hire veterans.

The House Committee on Veterans Affairs provides detailed information about the 2011 act on its website:

Tax credits available to business owners who hire veterans include:

* Up to $2,400 for hiring veterans unemployed between four weeks and six months.

* Up to $5,600 for hiring veterans unemployed for more than six months.

By:  Paul Nyden