Written on: August 8th, 2012 in Job Creation
Over the years, I’ve had the chance to meet thousands of Delawareans serving in all the armed forces and fighting for us. One of my proudest moments as Commander in Chief of the Delaware National Guard came just last year, when I had the opportunity to go to overseas and visit Delaware Guard members in Afghanistan.
These brave men and women put their lives on hold and on the line to serve their country and fight for what we believe in. When they come home we have a responsibility to do everything we can to help them pick up where they’ve left off, which includes ensuring they have access to employment.
While, traditionally, veterans have an unemployment rate below the national average, that has not held true for veterans who have served since 2001. The January 2012 national unemployment rate among recently returning veterans was 9.1%, still well above the national average of 8.3%. Simply, veterans have had a hard time finding work when they come back from Iraq and Afghanistan.
That’s why I’m so grateful to the many Delaware employers who are working hard to give our veterans a real shot. To support their efforts, I recently signed into law The Veterans’ Opportunity Tax Credit, which will give companies a $1,500 annual tax credit for each recent veteran they hire.
But this is just the first step. What we really need is a partnership with businesses throughout our state and throughout our country who recognize not only the service that our veterans have provided but also the unique skills they’ve developed through their training and through their work. By working together, with our businesses and our veterans, together and collectively, we can make sure that we keep Delaware moving forward