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Hiring veterans

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There are an estimated 600,000 high-tech manufacturing jobs that remain unfilled for lack of qualified applicants, the Associated Press reported.

Manufacturers have created a program to help veterans develop the skills to qualify for the jobs.

Companies such as General Electric, Alcoa Inc., Boeing and Lockheed Martin are joining forces with community and technical colleges to help young veterans become certified in the fields of electronics, welding and machining.

GE and Military Families at Syracuse University are preparing a guide to help participating companies recruit veterans. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the White House are involved, having pledged to help 100,000 veterans and their spouses gain work by 2014.

Many veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have struggled to find work. The unemployment rate for those veterans is about 2 percentage points higher than the national rate, AP noted.

The companies are providing $6 million toward the new training initiative that will begin in January near GE’s manufacturing hub at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.

Other sites will open throughout 2013. The goal is to help 15,000 veterans qualify for manufacturing careers.

Americans have read much about veterans’ difficulties in finding work and integrating into civilian life after serving their country in extremely stressful duties.

More power to this program designed to give veterans a leg up in finding gainful employment.

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