By Debbie Gregory.
A new program announced by First Lady Michelle Obama will allow thousands of soldiers to leave the military with more than battlefield experience. They will have the chance to earn certifications in high-paying technology careers – before they enter the civilian sector.
Mrs. Obama unveiled the new Information Technology Training and Certification Partnership to put thousands of service members to work in high tech jobs for veterans. The new partnership will provide up to 161,000 service members the chance to earn certifications and complete credentialing programs before ever stepping out of uniform.
The program is expected to garner more than 1.8 million veteran jobs by 2020, with average salaries of more than $81,000, according to a White House fact sheet
Mrs. Obama said that too often, men and women in uniform come home to find that the training and experience they’ve received in the military doesn’t count toward civilian employment, “or they discover that the credits they’ve earned in military courses don’t transfer when they enroll in college, so they’re turned away from jobs that they’re more than qualified to do.”
The program is just one of several initiatives set forth by Mrs. Obama and her husband to boost the number of veteran jobs available across the nation.
President Barack Obama has partnered with the manufacturing sector to facilitate service members receiving high-demand advanced manufacturing certifications as they transition into veteran technical jobs . It also ties in with the recently developed DOD Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force, and the first lady’s February challenge to the country’s governors; take executive or legislative action for service members to get the credentials they need to transition to the civilian labor market by the end of 2015.
“We’re here today … not just for our veterans and our military families, but for our economy and for the future of our country,” Mrs. Obama told members of four roundtables who will work to streamline the credentialing program.
Members of the roundtables represented the Defense Department and the military services, the private sector, industry trade associations, unions, educational institutions, state legislatures, veterans’ service organizations and state licensing boards.
Mrs. Obama emphasized that changing laws is just the beginning, noting that “even the best laws in the world won’t make a difference until companies are actually making those job offers, schools are accepting those credits, and our veterans and military spouses are actually collecting those paychecks that they need to take care of their families.”