August 28, 2012

Manchin, Dupont Announce First National Partnership in 'I Hire Veterans' Project

Major corporation will display logo on sites, commits to hiring veterans for good-paying jobs

Belle, W.Va. – In an event with workers and business leaders, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and officials from DuPont announced today that the company is the first national corporation to formally endorse the “I Hire Veterans” project and Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus. Senator Manchin made the announcement as part of his two week “Building a Stronger America Together” tour.
According to the latest figures from the Department of Labor, there are now more than 750,000 unemployed veterans in the country. Although unemployment has come down from recent highs – in part thanks to a coordinated focus on veterans hiring and efforts from employers like DuPont – nearly 20 percent of young veterans still don’t have a job.
“This is a crisis that’s only going to get worse if we don’t pull together as a country and do something about it. Secretary Panetta and General Dempsey tell us that 100,000 service members will be leaving active service in the next three years, many without reaching retirement.  We can’t turn our backs on a single one of them,” Senator Manchin said. “It’s so fitting to come here to DuPont to talk about hiring veterans. This is the company that makes Kevlar and Nomex – which are keeping our soldiers safe around the world.”
“I enjoy any opportunity that I have for one of our national leaders to come to the site so that we can show them what we’re doing to expand manufacturing in the United States, and in West Virginia area, in particular,” DuPont Belle plant manager Jim O’Connor said. “But I really appreciate how Senator Manchin has embarked on his focus to hire veterans. He has given us the opportunity to step up and show that we’re supporting our military. This project gives us the opportunity to hire them and bring them in to a facility like the Belle plant. We are very proud of this facility. It’s been here for 86 years and we intend to have it here for a while longer.”
Senator Manchin highlighted how much sense it makes for businesses to hire veterans.
“Smart businesses realize that it’s just commonsense to hire our veterans,” Senator Manchin said. “They’re highly trained, extremely disciplined and focused – that’s why they make such excellent employees. Thankfully, there are smart businesses, like DuPont, that are stepping up and doing their part to end veterans’ unemployment in our nation.”
In March, Senator Manchin and his friend Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) launched the bipartisan Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus, which has already grown to include 33 Senators and 22 members of the House of Representatives. The group’s signature initiative is the “I Hire Veterans” project – an effort to improve veterans’ employment. 
“The ‘I Hire Veterans’ project is basically our new Yellow Ribbon, a chance to put our money where our mouth is,” Senator Manchin said. “We all fly the flag and tie a yellow ribbon around the “old oak tree” – and that’s great.  But if you want to do even more to help a vet, hire a vet.  And do business with vets.”
As the first national corporation partner in the “I Hire Veterans” project, DuPont is displaying the logo on site at both their West Virginia locations and on their web site. Dupont has also committed to hiring a substantial number of veterans. In the next two years, when the company hires between 2,000 and 3,000 employees, at least 10 percent of those hires will be veterans.
The Congressional Jobs Caucus encourages any business that hires veterans to display the “I Hire Veterans” logo. It can be found at