Kay Ivey takes on mission to have employers hire more Alabama vets

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Governor Kay Ivey wants to see more veterans hired across the state of Alabama.

On Monday, the governor joined U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and Alabama Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington in urging employers statewide to do just that: hire more Alabama veterans.

“Veteran employment is an issue that is very important to me and my Administration,” Ivey said. “We are committed to making sure that those who have volunteered to serve us and our country have worthwhile opportunities to establish long-lasting careers.”

HIRE-Vets-Medallion-OVERLAP-01 - NewIvey also announced a new federal program, the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, is expected to officially kick off in 2019. It’s designed to encourage employers’ commitment to veteran careers, including hiring, retention, and long-term development. In preparation for its launch, the U.S. Department of Labor is asking employers to apply for its HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration, an effort that will recognize up to 300 employers for their investments in veteran hiring.

The program will recognize employers across three categories: large, medium, and small, and will be available at two levels, platinum or gold, based on the criteria they meet. The criteria is available at www.hirevets.gov.

“I know that Alabama’s employers care deeply about our veterans, and I encourage them to pursue this federal designation, so that Alabama’s veterans will know how deeply their commitment lies,” Ivey continued.

The designations will be available to the first 300 applicants across all categories (large, medium, and small employers) and applications will be available online at www.hirevets.gov on January 31st. Any employer with at least one employee on staff is eligible to apply. There is no application fee. Those recognized in 2018 will also be eligible to apply for the 2019 program.

“We know that veterans bring many valuable skills to the workforce,” added Washington. “Employers who have this designation will be that much more attractive to veterans seeking work. It would be wonderful to have dozens of Alabama employers recognized in this first group of designees.”

This is not the first time Ivey has brought the spotlight on Alabama’s veterans. In her State of the State address earlier this month, Ivey made hiring one of her administration’s priorities. She announced that she would be extending tax credits to small businesses that hire veterans.

“Sometimes, when veterans finish their service, they struggle to find work; that is why I support extending tax credits to small businesses that hire veterans,” Ivey said during her speech. “For those veterans who own their own businesses, they need our support as well. I am proposing legislation that will give preference to veteran-owned businesses that bid on state contracts. Our veterans have given much to protect our state and nation. As a state, we must step up and repay them for their sacrifice.”

 Employers seeking further information on the HIRE Vets Medallion Program should contact hirevets@dol.gov.

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