Editor’s note: Earlier today, Chamber President and CEO Lane Beattie spoke at an event highlighting the Chamber’s efforts in the Hiring Our Heroes program–aimed at helping veterans and spouses of military personnel find employment.
Oh behalf of the business community, I first want to express my admiration for the brave men and women of the Armed Forces for all they do to protect and preserve our freedoms.
We try to honor their sacrifice by working every day to strengthen the economy of our state and our nation.
The President announced earlier this month that some 30,000 troops will return home from the battlefield over the next year and a half. We look forward to their return and we pray for their safety as well as those who remain in harm’s way.
While the challenges they face upon their return to our community cannot be compared to those challenges they faced in the service of their country… there are challenges waiting for them here, nonetheless.
Many of our veterans have been called upon to defend their country and have returned home and to face the challenge of finding a job. They are not alone. Over 100-thousand Utahns are in the same situation.
As Utah’s business leader, we’re committed to restoring the Utah economy to full employment.
Earlier this year, we announced the Utah Jobs Agenda, a private sector plan to create 150,000 jobs over the next five years.
We have called upon businesses in our state to invest, to innovate and to hire. We will continue to do so.
The job market is improving. Every week we have businesses expanding in and moving to Utah.
During the Great Recession, business leaders, legislators and the governor the tough decisions that positioned our state to lead the nation out of the recession. We are beginning to reap the benefits of those investments and our economy will continue to grow stronger.
While the job market is improving, competition for jobs is still fierce.
May I suggest that the businesses here in our state look for opportunities to hire our veterans?
The lessons they have learned during their service will be an asset to any organization. They are hard working. They are dedicated. They know how to lead.
We are proud to be part of a nationwide jobs initiative for veterans and military spouses called “Hiring Our Heroes.” This program focuses on one measure of success: finding jobs for the one million unemployed veterans across the nation.
During the next year, this campaign will work with local chambers of commerce, the administration, and the National Guard and Reserve to connect 100-thousand veterans with more than one thousand different employers during one hundred hiring fairs across our country. The first hiring fair took place in Chicago and it brought together more than 125 employers and 12-hundred veterans and spouses of veterans.
These brave men and women have been deployed and served with honor. Now it is our opportunity—and our duty—to make sure they are employed and can contribute with the same level of distinction.
The Salt Lake Chamber, as Utah’s largest statewide business association representing over half the state’s workforce, is committed to working with our members to hire our heroes.
Thank you very much and God bless our troops.