With the current unemployment rate of post-2001 veterans sitting just below 10 percent, the federal government and private groups have been working for years to develop new programs that will help these heroes find jobs upon returning home.
The latest effort was announced by first lady Michelle Obama, who described it as a public-private initiative that will focus on helping veterans find information technology jobs by providing them with the necessary training and accreditation.
According to Mashable, the IT Training and Certification Partnership is expected to help as many as 161,000 veterans receive the training they need to find what staffing companies have found are the most in-demand jobs. Skills will include computer programming, quality assurance and information security, which are necessary for the 1.8 million tech job openings that are expected to become available by 2020. The potential salaries are also alluring, as most of them are above the national average.
"[T]oday is your chance to make the connections, form the partnerships that our veterans and military families need and deserve," the First Lady said in her speech to private companies and government organizations. "[I]t was roundtables like these that led to the creation of the IT Training and Certification Partnership that we are announcing today. ... I hope you all will use this partnership as a model, because it is an outstanding example of what can happen when industries come together with our armed forces on behalf of our veterans."
Military experience meets civilian skills
The program was developed to complement the skills the veterans learned in the military. Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle and other global technology companies have already committed to taking part in the program by identifying clear career paths that veterans can follow once they receive the necessary training. Microsoft stated it plans to develop and provide a certification exam that would allow the veterans to work with Microsoft-specific products, while Oracle is creating training programs for Database Design, SQL and ever-popular Java skills.
According to the news source, these companies have also spoken with their business partners, who will also take part in developing training programs for veterans.
The latest initiative is the second major partnership created by the Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force, which focuses on identifying the traits that make veterans excellent workers, and how to ensure these skills can transfer into the civilian workplace. The group also works to ensure all veterans can receive the necessary credentialing and licensing to more easily find jobs once their service is done.