Obama Talks Vets and Jobs

Citing Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans’ skills at adapting to changing and unpredictable circumstances, President Obama today challenged private business to hire veterans who have returned from action.

In his remarks about the American Jobs Act, he took particular note of the problems post-9/11 veterans are having in the job market. Even as the unemployment numbers declined overall last month, he said, unemployment among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans continues to rise. "It doesn't make sense," he said. Their skills are something "every American business should be competing to attract."

He announced three initiatives to help veterans look for work and for employers can find veterans with the skills they need.

More than 850,000 veterans remain unemployed. Noting that one serviceman who served as a combat medic in Afghanistan, had to take classes before he could become a first responder. "Classes he could have taught," said Obama.

Noting the transferrable skills learned on the battlefield, Obama told veterans gathered in the Rose Garden, "If you can save a life a battlefield, you can save a life in an ambulance. If you can oversee a convoy or millions of dollars of assets in Iraq, you can help business back home manage their supply chain and balance their books."

email: patricia.orsini@nbcuni.com