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Federal Hiring of Veterans Reaches 20-Year High

job fair with homeland security

Nearly 29 percent of federal government hires in fiscal 2011 went to military veterans, marking a 20-year high, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry said today.

Berry released what he called preliminary numbers from fiscal 2011 following a meeting of the President's Council on Veterans Employment, an Obama administration initiative he credited with the increases in veteran hiring.

"President Obama created the Veterans Employment Initiative to help employ our veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses as an integral part of keeping our sacred promise to America's veterans. It's working," Berry said.

The council "pursued aggressive goals, and for our veterans, meeting those goals means jobs that serve the American people and help sustain the growth that supports the propriety and leadership in the world," he said. "I'm proud of the council's success in keeping these highly trained and experienced individuals working for our nation, particularly the over one million who served in Iraq."

Of the 24 federal departments and agencies included in the initiative, 22 hired more veterans last year than in fiscal 2009, and 23 hired more disabled veterans than in 2009, Berry said.

The government's hiring of veterans is up from 26 percent last year and 24 percent in fiscal 2009, he said.

The council also approved a pilot program for employing formerly homeless veterans in the federal government.

The goal of the President's Veterans Employment Initiative is to help federal agencies identify qualified veterans, clarify the hiring process for veterans seeking employment with the federal government, and help them adjust to the civilian work environment once they are hired. The council is co-chaired by Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

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