October 2012

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/86182

Contents of this Issue


Page 23 of 67

Human Resources Tips for Tapping into the Veteran Workforce Learn the pros and cons, opportunities and obligations involved in hiring veterans and members of the Reserve. BY JOANNE COSTIN Currently, the overall unemployment numbers for veterans are better than that of the general population. The August figures (released in early September) from the Bureau of Labor statistics calculate unemployment for all vets 18 and over at 6.6 percent, lower than the national average of 8 percent. However, it's a completely different scenario for younger veterans. Among male vets ages 18-24 the unemployment rate recently jumped to 19.9 percent, while the unemployment rate for nonvets in this category was 16.3 percent. In addition, with more than one million service members projected to leave the military between 2011 and 2016, the poor jobs picture for young veterans could very well get worse. Government has taken aim at the problem and over the past year unemployment has dropped more than a full percentage point among veterans. On Nov. 21, 2011, the federal government introduced new incentives to encourage employers to hire vets. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit offers a credit of 40 percent of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers who hire veterans Know the Law Employers can legally ask an applicant about their military status, but employees are only legally bound to inform employers of their military status if they are in the Guard or Reserves and are mobilized for active duty. Companies that ask a prospective candidate about veteran status, but subsequently do not hire the candidate, may be subject to allegations of discrimination. 22 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | October 2012 who have been unemployed at least four weeks. A credit of 40 percent of the first $12,000 of wages (up to $4,800) is available for employers who hire veterans who have been unemployed longer than six months. The credits are set to expire Jan 1, 2013. At the same time, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for veterans with service-connected disabilities was continued and a Wounded Warrior credit of 40 percent of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) was added for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been unemployed longer than six months. In addition, the Act established the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, a collaborative effort between Department of Labor and Veterans Administration, which will provide retraining assistance to 99,000 unemployed veterans from July 2012 through March 2014. The private sector has also mobilized in support of veterans. In March of 2011, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's National Chamber Foundation launched Hiring Our Heroes, a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find employment. Through job fairs and a nationwide network of 1,600 state and local chambers of commerce, the organization hopes to create a movement across America to bring jobs to service men and women and their spouses. To date, Hiring Our Heroes has hosted more than 255 hiring fairs in 49 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. More than 10,400 vets have found employment through the program, which is supported by a national advi- sory circle that includes leading employers in the equipment industry such as Caterpillar and Toyota. Other programs such as Helmets to Hardhats also seek to help military personnel (continued on page 24)

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of CED - October 2012