As of December 15, 2011, the war in Iraq is officially over. While this was great news for the families of the thousands of troops returning home for the holidays, it added stress to a struggling U.S. economy with unemployment rates hovering around 8.6 percent.
And the job market has not been kind. Unemployment rates for veterans continue to outpace those for the general population. In fact, according to an ABC News Report, U.S. Veterans: By the Numbers,12.1 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are unemployed, and some signs indicate that the number is increasing.
But help is on the way.
The Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 (VOW to Hire Heroes Act), encourages businesses to employ veterans by offering them a tax credit. The main components of the initiative, according to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Veterans’ Affair’s website, are listed below:
The hope is that these tax incentives for business, combined with extra assistance and benefits for veterans will ease the transition of service men and women back into the workforce and relieve the unemployment rates of vets.
An online job bank has also been established to connect veterans with employers, and additional Hire a Hero job search websites have touted positions with notable companies such as:
In addition to the incentives provided by the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, various GI Bills are aimed at helping military personnel pay for education programs. Hopefully, this new movement to help those who have helped their country will provide opportunities for service men and women as they transition from serving the nation on the battlefield to serving it in the workforce.