Railroads Hire Many Veterans Returning from War

Railroad-Jobs-for-VetsOMAHA, Neb. - Mark Major once led a team of soldiers in combat in Iraq. Now he leads a team of railroad employees. The difference, he says, is obvious: "I'm not getting shot at anymore."

But it's the similarities between serving in the military and working for the railroad that draw Major and many other former military members to this type of work.

"For a veteran - a person who thrives off excitement, a mission and a chain of command - you tend to seek out companies like that," said Major, who has worked for Union Pacific for about two years.

As thousands of American soldiers return to the civilian workforce after service in Iraq or Afghanistan, many are finding jobs on the nation's rail lines. More than 25 percent of all U.S. railroad workers have served in the military.

Veterans have a long history of railroad work. Civil War veterans, for example, helped complete the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s. But railroad opportunities are especially welcome now because the unemployment rate for recent veterans remains higher than for the rest of the nation.

Read more: Railroads Hire Many Veterans Returning from War

Ray White, WWII Veteran Update

Ray White 2It is with great pleasure that we give you a wonderful update on WWII Veteran Ray White who was recently scammed out of his house, cars, and belongings. Since that unfortunate event in March, The Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service & Education Center (PVMSEC) has been attending to the needs of Mr. White and has placed him into an apartment in Northeast Philadelphia this past Monday, May 6, 2013.

Through our Supportive Services for Veterans and Families Program (SSVF), PVMSEC was able to pay for Mr. White’s security deposit and first month’s rent. We also purchased Mr. White a brand new bed and organized donations of several needed furniture items for his new apartment.

In addition, thanks to the incredible support from our donors, PVMSEC has raised $5,776.00 to help him with future rental payments, utility bills, medical bills, and any other needs that arise. We are also working with Moravia Health to provide ongoing care to Mr. White while in the comfort of his home. Moravia is currently assessing Mr. White’s needs.

Thank you to all of those who donated to support Ray White during his time in need!

Walmart: We Will Hire All New Veterans

There will be plenty of news coming out in the next few days about the White House's Joining Forces program, as First Lady Michelle Obama will be presenting an update on the program's goals later today, as well as future steps to help hire and train veterans and military spouses. One notable piece of news we thought should get its own call-out today is Walmart's announcement of a new program in which it is pledging to hire any honorably discharged veteran within one year of their date of discharge.

The new program is scheduled to start at the end of May, and Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon estimates the average hiring process should take 30 days. How long will this program last? We should be getting more details in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

Update: Below is the latest press release on Walmart's pledge, along with some more specifics.

Read more: Walmart: We Will Hire All New Veterans

Report Shows Lower Vet Unemployment Rate

WASHINGTON — The unemployment rate for young veterans dropped last month to its lowest level since President Barack Obama was elected, another positive sign for advocates concerned over the transition from military to civilian life.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Iraq and Afghanistan war era veterans posted a 7.5 percent unemployment rate in April, the same as the national average. That figure has stayed at least two percentage points above the national rate for most of the last four years, and hasn't been that low since November 2008.

Read more: Report Shows Lower Vet Unemployment Rate

Corporations Pledge Vet Jobs at White House Event

VetJobsWhiteHouseThe White House on Tuesday offered more details on its latest challenge to American companies to hire 435,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years.

Speaking from the East Room of the White House before a gathering of veterans, active duty troops, spouses and business leaders, President Obama said employment is part of "our sacred obligation" to those who have served.

Obama said veterans are not getting the jobs for which they're qualified while the economy continues to recover. That is particularly so for Post-9/11 veterans, and for the past two years First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, have worked with companies to open more doors to veterans and spouses of men and women still serving.

The First Lady announced significant employment programs and commitments by several large companies, including USAA, the insurance giant that caters to military members, veterans and t heir families, UPS, Deloitte LLP and the International Franchise Association.

Mrs. Obama said USAA's new hiring goal looks to have 30 percent of new hires be veterans or a spouse. The White House said 25 percent of the company's new hires typically are veterans or military spouses.

At USAA, one out of every four new employees we hire is a veteran or military spouse. Going forward, USAA has set an even higher internal hiring goal of 30 percent of new hires will be a veteran or a military spouse.

Read more: Corporations Pledge Vet Jobs at White House Event

Anonymous - Philadelphia, PA

"I am the wife of a Viet Nam Veteran. My husband started going to PVMSEC 10 years ago for help. No mere words could ever express how much his life and in turn our family life has changed for the better in those years. I am and always will be grateful for the wonderful care he has received at the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service Center & Education Center."

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