Obama Touts Jobs for Returning Service Members amid Bad Economic News

By Fred Lucas | June 1, 2012 | 5:36 PM EDT

President Barack Obama speaks about jobs for veterans, Friday, June 1, 2012, at Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions Global Headquarters in Golden Valley, Minn. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

(CNSNews.com) – On a day when the Department of Labor announced that the national unemployment rate had increased during May, President Barack Obama pitched a new plan to find jobs for returning soldiers, sailors and airmen.

Obama spoke about the new plan at the Honeywell factory in Golden Valley, Minn., before holding three campaign fundraising events in Minnesota and another three in Chicago that same day.

The president explained that far too often veterans obtain skills in the military that would qualify them for jobs in manufacturing, information technology, security and health care, but are missing the professional licensing for fields that have the most openings.

“We got all these openings and all these skilled veterans looking for work, and somehow they’re missing each other,” Obama said. “That doesn’t make any sense. So that’s where executive action comes in. That’s where we’re going to fix it. Today, I’m proud to announce new partnerships between the military and manufacturing groups that will make it easier for companies to hire returning service members who prove they’ve earned the skills our country needs.”

Obama said this would benefit 126,000 returning service members.

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“Soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, Coast Guardsmen – if they’ve got skills in machining or welding or weapons maintenance, for example, you’ll have a faster track to good-paying manufacturing jobs,” Obama said. “Service members with experience in logistics or maintenance on the front lines, they’ll have a faster track to jobs in those fields here at home.”

The Defense Department is establishing a task force to find new opportunities for service members upon leaving the armed forces, the president said.

“I’ve also directed the Department of Defense to establish a new task force charged with finding new opportunities for service members to use the skills they’ve learned in the military to gain the relevant industry credentials – the civilian certifications and licenses – so that it doesn’t cost them and they don’t necessarily have to go back to school for three years and take out a whole bunch of student loans when, potentially, they could do it quicker, more inexpensively, and get on the job faster,” Obama continued.

“We’re talking about jobs in manufacturing, in health care, in IT, in logistics, for first responders – so that returning combat medic that I spoke about, he doesn’t have to prove himself over and over again,” he added.

Obama’s remarks were delivered in the backdrop of more bad economic news.

The economy added just 69,000 new jobs in May, fewer than expected, and the unemployment rate increased from 8.1 percent to 8.2 percent.

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