Obama Talks Jobs For Vets at Honeywell in Golden Valley

While visiting Golden Valley based Honeywell Friday afternoon, the president urged Congress to pass legislation that would create a Veteran Job Corps, which would help veterans find jobs as police officers, firefighters and in other service industries.

On a day when the nation's unemployment rate increased—and stocks plummeted—President Barack Obama said he wants more job opportunities for veterans.

He spoke to Friday on the factory floor of in Golden Valley.

Obama urged Congress to pass legislation that would create a Veterans Job Corps, which would help veterans find jobs as police officers, firefighters and in other service industries. 

“I believe that no one that fights for this country should have to fight for a job when they return home,” Obama told the crowd. “Men and women that have served in the military have incredible skills that any company could benefit from.”

According to the United States Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time since September 2001 is about 12 percent, compared to the national unemployment rate.

Earlier in the day, the Labor Department announced that the U.S. unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in May, up from 8.1 percent in April. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 275 points by close Friday.

Obama's speech at Honeywell focused on the struggles veterans have finding work.

“If we are going to serve our veterans as they have served us, we must get to work on this,” Obama said. “We must deliver for our veterans.”

He applauded the efforts of Honeywell, a company that set out to hire 500 veterans last year.

“Last year when the White House launched the Joining Forces initiative to encourage companies to hire veterans, we decided to step up to the challenge,” Honeywell Spokesperson Bruce Anderson said. The company exceeded its goal; Honeywell now employees 600 veterans, 65 of which work at the campus in Golden Valley. 

“We know that members of the military have transferable skills and we have seen that first hand at Honeywell,” Anderson said. “Our veterans have tremendous work ethic, leadership skills, an understanding of business efficiency and many of them have specialized skills that we put to good use here.”

A crowd of veterans from Honeywell sat behind the president as he spoke. American Legion Department Commander Curt Kruger said he was thrilled to see attention brought to such an important issue.

“Having a job is part of reintegrating back into normal life,” Kruger said. “This has been a problem for some time and I think any effort that helps veterans find work is a good one.”

Golden Valley Mayor Shep Harris hopes other companies will follow the example set by Honeywell.

"As more U.S. soldiers return home from overseas action, our national commitment to providing economic stability for our veterans and their families must remain strong," Harris said. "I applaud Honeywell for its pledge to honor our troops through job skills training and employment, and I encourage other corporations to do the same."

In his 30-minute speech Obama urged Congress to work together on this initiative, and not make it a political game.

After Obama’s stop in Golden Valley, he was off to a fundraiser at The Bachelor Farmer, a Minneapolis restaurant owned by Gov. Mark Dayton’s sons.

Kimma June 11, 2012 at 03:50 AM
well said Hank Plus Polluting they can also also create working environments and pay that equates to a "sweatshop'"-basically slave labor.
Terry Lambert June 17, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Hey if the GOP and Democrats could just be Americans and do something together for our country. Stop acting like a bunch of selfish children who cannot get along and start working together as a team of Americans! Our country needs leaders who care about our people and solving issues.
bmdesroches July 07, 2012 at 09:30 PM
I am a US Air Force Veteran who has had to struggle through this recession that is a depression for those who are there. I haven't forgotten how this economy got to the point where the economy nearly failed due to deceptive and dishonest bank and Wall Street policies combined with the excessive outsourcing of jobs to China and elsewhere under 8 years of the Bush Administration. Companies are once again hiring sub-contract employees thanks to the efforts of President Obama. I have had the opportunity to work at Lockheed Martin and now Honeywell because this President has gotten this economy moving again. I know how I will be voting in the fall and it won't be for a man who doesn't know how to be honest with the American people and makes promises he can and will never deliver fullfill. When I worked as a volunteer for John McCain, I understood why he didn't like Mitt Romney and it is the same reason I don't like or trust him; he is dishonest and will say what ever he thinks will get him votes and targets his promises to his audience. That's why he flip flops; he only cares about getting the office, not delivering on his promises.
bmdesroches July 07, 2012 at 09:36 PM
You can't deliver what you know is just B.S. in order to secure votes from those who don't really know you. Ask Floridians who voted for Gov. Scott how they feel about voting for someone without researching the candidates background and track record on non-partisan goverment and press websites before entering the voting booth. It is important to vote but most importantly it is very important to cast an educated, intelligent vote based on facts not propaganda (or lies.) A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for a man who only cares about the very wealthy and that's it. He doesn't care about the middle class who are being squeezed out of existance while he dodges paying a fair tax based upon his true income which he deceptively hides in foreign accounts and refuses to release a tax return any older than one year for an obvious reason; because he has nothing to hide.
bmdesroches July 07, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Why would President G.W. Bush state that he was going after Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan; a move in which he had international support from our allies only to do a right face and take his focus off of the true enemy, al-queda in order to facilitate a war in Iraq that could have been avoided by the using the same sanctions and techniques that we are currently and using against Iran with success. Bush had no support from our allies and announced that it was a "coalition of the willing." Our reason for going to war way hijacked by diverting our resources, troops and focus to Iraq; something that could have been accomplished through diplomatic channels. Bush senior was smarter than his son and did not enter Iraq during the Persian Gulf War for good reason, it wasn't necessary.


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