In March 2011, NBC News partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) to launch “Hiring Our Heroes,” a nationwide grassroots initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment in the private sector.
With 117 “Hiring Our Heroes” hiring fairs conducted in local communities in just 12 months, the program has connected more than 100,000 veterans and military spouses with 5,000 different employers in 45 states and the District of Columbia. More than 8,500 veterans and military spouses have gotten jobs.
This year the “Hiring Our Heroes” initiative will expand from 117 hiring fairs to 400 in local communities across America.
While the national unemployment rate is 8.3%, the rate for post 9-11 veterans has been as high as 13.1%, and 30% for veterans under 25 years of age. There are nearly a million unemployed vets and 75,000 of them are homeless. In the next 5 years, another 1 million vets will be released from active duty.