President Obama Signs VOW to Hire Heroes Act

President Barack Obama signs the Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 (VOW to Hire Heroes Act).

President Barack Obama signs the Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 (VOW to Hire Heroes Act), that will provide tax credits to help put veterans back to work. First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden attend the ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium, Nov. 21, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Last Monday, President Obama was joined by Veteran Service Organizations, wounded warriors, and their families at the White House as he signed the VOW to Hire Heroes Act. This bipartisan Bill would establish a series of tax credits for businesses that hire Veterans in need of employment, publish employment assessments for all Military Occupational Specialties, and expand on-the-job training/apprenticeship programs for Veterans. You can read the remarks of the President here.

More specifically, businesses will be given a Returning Heroes Tax Credit of up to $5,600 for each Post-9/11 Veteran they hire who has been looking for a job for more than six months. A tax credit of $2,400 will be awarded for hiring Veterans who have been unemployed for more than four weeks.

Also, as part of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, the Wounded Warrior Tax Credit provides up to $9,600 for companies that hire Post-9/11 Veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months.

This Bill provides some much needed assistance and attention for the hundreds of thousands of unemployed Veterans and recovering Service members who are struggling to find work despite the outstanding training they received in the military. Often as a result of the injuries they have sustained, many warriors are having a particularly challenging time transitioning to full-time employment following their recovery.

The Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy is also working to combat this problem. For example, we are expanding the Operation Warfighter Program, which places recovering Service members in Federal internships around the country to enhance their work experience and professional networks prior to their discharge. We are also rolling out an Education and Employment Initiative that will allow Service members to use some of their recovery time to work towards their degree or build their professional credentials.

With all of these efforts occurring simultaneously, we are hoping that 2012 will be the year that we reduce Veteran unemployment once and for all. And the most important step to help us reach that goal is for hiring managers and corporate leaders to pick up the phone and talk to these amazing men and women to learn what they can bring to any company, team, or organization. They will quickly learn that the strength, tenacity, and dedication our warriors offer is worth far more than any tax credit.