First Lady Announces Program to Promote Employment for Veterans

By Fred Lucas | October 19, 2011 | 3:52 PM EDT

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to Marines and their families at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in San Diego, Sunday, June 13, 2010. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

( – Traveling with her husband on a jobs bus tour, first lady Michelle Obama announced at a Virginia military base a private sector initiative to hire 25,000 military veterans.

“I am proud to announce that the American Logistics Association has said they’re going to step up and do something about that. So today they’re committing to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses in the next two years,” the first lady said speaking at the Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Va., Wednesday.

“They do not want to miss out on your potential. They want America’s businesses to have the best, most talented, most hardworking employees around,” she said.

The American Logistics Association (ALA) is a non-profit trade association with manufacturers, brokers, distributors, publishers and service providers that sell goods and services to active duty, retired, and reserve military personnel and their families.

Michelle Obama identified major corporations such as Proctor and Gamble, Tyson Foods, and Hewlett-Packard as among the 270 affiliate companies in the ALA ready to employ military veterans as part of the trade association’s initiative.

“This commitment includes 270 companies of all shapes and sizes, which makes this the largest coordinated effort by the private sector to hire veterans that we’ve seen in years, and this commitment puts us a quarter of the way toward reaching the president’s challenge to the private sector to hire or train 100,000 vets and military spouses by the end of 2013,” Michelle Obama said.

On Aug. 5, President Barack Obama called for companies to hire more veterans.

The first lady introduced the president, who was promoting legislation for the third day of his jobs bus tour that swung through North Carolina and Virginia. During the tour he has mostly talked about his jobs proposals that would focus primarily on infrastructure and spending more to hire public sector employees.

However, at the military base, he focused on the legislation’s tax deductions for employers who hire veterans.

“It’s the right thing to do for our veterans, and it’s the right thing to do for America,” the president continued. “You give smaller companies who may be interested in hiring but are having a tough time – give them a tax break if they hire a veteran. Give them an even bigger tax break if they hire a disabled veteran.”