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Presidential Veterans' Initiative Will Help Thousands of Veterans and Returning Service Members

Presidential Veterans' Initiative Will Help Thousands of Veterans and Returning Service Members

Office of Personnel Management

November 30, 2009

The Executive Order on the Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government signed by President Obama on Monday, November 9, establishes an Interagency Council on Veterans Employment that will advise the President and the Director of OPM on the Veterans Employment Initiative. The Council will be chaired by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. Director Berry will serve as its Vice Chair and Chief Operating Officer.

“America’s vets are valued, they are experienced and they are trained. It would be foolish of us not to give them every opportunity to exercise their skills and their desires in continuing to serve their country through the Government,” said Berry. “We want to make sure that they know they are welcomed and we will have a job for them – we will find one that matches their skills, their passions and their interests and their abilities and we will mentor them as they make that transition from military culture to civilian.”

The Initiative has a very simple metric, the OPM report provides an agency by agency account of how many veterans are hired in the United States of America. Berry said this will be “our baseline” for measuring veterans’ representation. “One year from now, we’ll know exactly where we stand.”

Berry, Gould and McGinn were joined by Department of Labor’s Assistant Secretary for Veterans Employment and Training, Ray Jefferson, and Homeland Security Chief Human Capital Officer Jeff Neal at the Department of Labor press conference.

Neal reiterated a commitment by Department of Homeland Security to hire 50,000 veterans by 2012. “There is a natural continuity between service in the military and at DHS,” he said. “When you look at what it takes to secure the homeland, it takes people who are dedicated, who are willing to work very long hours, and who are willing to work in uncomfortable, unsafe conditions.”

“As President Obama stated in his Executive Order, when they complete their service, we must do everything in our power to assist veterans with re-entering civilian life and finding employment,” Jefferson said.

For the latest information, a Video News Release and webcast of the entire press conference, please visit

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Our mission is to ensure the Federal Government has an effective civilian workforce. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.

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