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President Obama to unveil plan for unemployed veterans

President Barack Obama speaks on October 19, 2011 in North Chesterfield, Virginia.

Steve Chiotakis: The unemployment rate among veterans,
back from Iraq and Afghanistan got worse last month, even as the overall jobless rate got a little bit better. Still, more than 12 percent of veterans are now looking for work. And today, President Obama will meet with several vet groups, to announce new programs and try to bring that number down.

From Washington, Marketplace's David Gura has more on the president's plans.


David Gura: Since it doesn't look like Congress is going to work with President Obama to pass his jobs bill, the president's taking matters into his own hands. By executive order, he's creating a new jobs bank for veterans, offering them more career counseling.

Peter Gaytan is the American Legion's executive director. He says employers need to appreciate the skills these veterans have.

Peter Gaytan: And that means for us as a nation, and also as employers, to understand how the education, training and experience that every member of the military has developed over their time in the service is transferrable to the civilian workforce.

A hiring manager might think a former tank driver's skills are too specialized. But Mike Haynie, of Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families, says the tasks veterans were asked to do aren't just what they appear.

Mike Haynie: If you dig into that a little bit, the reality is that young tank driver has highly advanced technical training on things like electrical systems, radar systems, hydraulic systems.

Haynie says the jobs situation for veterans is uniquely difficult because they've been away from the market for so long.

In Washington, I'm David Gura, for Marketplace.

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.
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