In the middle of October, Jeffery Immelt, the CEO and chairman of General Electric (NYSE:GE), wrote an article about veteran employment. He describes the “Get Skills to Work” coalition, a program backed by manufacturers and colleges aimed at placing 15,000 veterans in advanced manufacturing positions.
There are 600,000 available high-tech jobs that can’t be filled right now, a rare opportunity in a market where there are more than three job seekers per open position on average. The unemployment rate for Gulf War-era II veterans was 10 percent in October 2012, a decrease from 12.1 percent from the period a year ago, but still over 2 percent higher than the population at large.
Catalysts are critical to discovering winning stocks. Check out our newest CHEAT SHEET stock picks now.
The manufacturing industry already employs about 12 million people, but Immelt points out that a large number of them will be retiring in a number of years. The average employee in the industry is 50 years old. Overall, the rate of unemployment in manufacturing was about 7 percent for October 2012, a decline of 0.7 percentage points from October 2011.
Alcoa (NYSE:AA), Boeing (NYSE:BA), and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) are also members of the coalition. Immelt points out in his letter that 70 percent of R&D investments are claimed by manufacturing. The coalition wants to try and translate skills and ideas developed in the military into jobs. The absence of a clear and effective way to translate a military resume into a civilian resume means war-time engineers can’t find work, a situation top manufacturers are hoping to turn around.
The coalition is providing $6 million in seed money and hopes to help employ as many as 100,000 veterans. The four companies currently employ about 64,000 veterans.
Don’t Miss: Meet Lockheed Martin’s Brave New CEO.