After the Oscars: Michelle Obama Challenges Governors to Ease Service Members Transition to Civilian Work Force
Editor's Note: The audience was surprised to see the First Lady (appropriately dressed in a silvery gown by Naeem Khan) present the Best Picture Oscar to Argo, appearing via satellite from the White House last night. This morning we viewed her on C-Span addressing the nation's governors about a much different and very important subject:
by Colleen Curtis
White House Digital Content Director
Too often the talented men and women who have served our country face barriers that make it difficult to find jobs that capitalize on the skills they have gained through their military education and experience. Many service members and veterans are required to repeat education or training in order to receive industry certifications and state occupational licenses, even though much, and in some cases, all, of their military training and experience overlaps with credential requirements.
The members of our Armed Forces and their families make great sacrifices, and when their service is concluded, we owe it to our veterans and their families to help them accomplish a successful transition to the civilian labor force. That is why over the past year and a half, President Obama has taken significant action to create a “career-ready military” and streamline the transition process.
Today, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden highlighted the work that has been done across the country to change laws that require military spouses to attain new credentials when they move to a new state, and challenged the governors of all 50 states to take legislative or executive action to help our troops get the credentials they need by the end of 2015. Speaking to the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room, Mrs. Obama talked about the pressing need to take action and fulfill our responsibilities to the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much over the past decade:
In the coming years, more than one million service members will make the transition to civilian life.
Think about that – a million people hanging up their uniforms… figuring out what’s next… and doing everything they can to make that change as seamless as possible for their families.
So the fact is, while this time of war may be ending, our responsibilities to our troops and their families will only be ramping up.
And that’s what I want to talk to you about today — how we can fulfill what is perhaps our most pressing responsibility to our troops: making sure that when they come home, they can find a job — and not just any job, but a good job, a job they can raise a family on.
Last year, the Department of Defense established the Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force at the direction of President Obama. The group has identified and created opportunities for service members to earn civilian occupational credentials and licenses, focusing their efforts on well-paying industries and occupations that have a high demand for skilled workers, including: manufacturing; information technology; transportation and logistics; health care; and emergency medical services.
White House Photo of Michelle Obama presenting Best Picture Oscar to Argo via satellite by Pete Souza
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