Release Date: Nov 03, 2011Contact: 888-249-NEWS
First Lady Michelle Obama to Provide Keynote Remarks at U.S. Chamber’s Fourth Annual Hiring our Heroes
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey Will Join Chamber Celebration to Recognize Private Sector Excellence in Hiring Veterans and Military Spouses
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, will be the keynote speaker at the fourth annual Business Steps Up: Hiring our Heroes event to be held on Thursday morning, November 10, 2011 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In addition to hearing from the First Lady about a series of major private sector commitments that organizations have made for the Joining Forces initiative, Mr. John Strangfeld, the Chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc., will discuss his company's efforts to create sustainable programs to improve career opportunities for veterans.
Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden created Joining Forces to bring Americans together to recognize, honor and take action to support military families as they serve our country and throughout their lives. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has supported their initiative by conducting hiring fairs for veterans and military spouses in 100 local communities across the country and will expand that number to several hundred next year.
”We are excited to bring together leaders from both the public and private sectors to recognize businesses that have gone above and beyond to employ talented veterans and military spouses, and to honor the tremendous sacrifices our military families make every day in service to our nation,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes program has made significant strides in the past year, and we would not be able to help America’s finest men and women find meaningful employment without the dedication of so many different organizations working toward a common goal.”
Hiring our Heroes will also launch three strategic initiatives at the event including: a grassroots campaign to engage the small business community; the establishment of a comprehensive IT system to support the hiring events the Chamber is conducting in local communities across the country; and the formation of a private sector Veterans Employment Advisory Council (VEAC) comprised of America’s biggest employers across all industries and sectors.
The Advisory Council will be represented by industry leaders such as Prudential and CVS Caremark on the Chairman’s Circle, as well as 3M, Walmart, Union Pacific, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, Siemens, Ryder System, RecruitMilitary, PeopleScout, Navistar, Monster/Military.com, International Franchise Association, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), FedEx Express, Citigroup, and Chesapeake Energy Corporation. The VEAC will also include non-profit organizations, such as the Center for New American Security and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University.
The VEAC is committed to five fundamental principles: 1) hiring veterans and military spouses; 2) sharing best practices and adopting next practices for veteran and military spouse employment; 3) reporting measures such as job opportunities, interviews, and job placements; 4) providing mentors to help transitioning service members and military spouses; and with the support of the Chamber’s extensive grassroots network, 5) enlisting the commitments of thousands of small businesses to hire veterans and increasing the number of veteran-owned small businesses across America.
At a dinner that evening, the Chamber will highlight the successes of its nationwide 100-city veterans hiring fair program through the dedication of a permanent veterans center inside the Chamber and the presentation of awards to private sector employers in five categories. To date, the Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes Program has connected more than 44,000 veterans and military spouses with more than 2,200 employers in 36 states. More than 3,000 have gotten jobs thus far.
The dinner will feature remarks from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki about what the DoD and VA are doing to help military families the “day before” and the “day after” they transition from military service.
For more information regarding the U.S. Chamber’s Hiring our Heroes program, please visit: http://www.uschamber.com/veterans.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.