Around the Institute

Expanding Employment for our Returning Soldiers

March 20, 2013

US soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have acquired wide-ranging skills in technology and security, as well as leadership and project management, and yet they encounter a huge gap in employment. The veterans community is faced with a 9.4 percent unemployment rate, which is far higher than the national average of 7.7 percent. The Aspen Institute has made the health, employment and well-being of veterans and their families a leading priority.

In addition to the launch of the Aspen Veterans Initiative this week, Wes Moore, an army combat veteran and youth advocate, spoke at an Aspen Leadership Series in New York, exploring some of the reasons for such high unemployment figures. He said employers and potential veteran-employees often have a difficulty speaking the same language—which, if solved, could ultimately better translate a soldier’s real-world experience into a workplace asset. So how do we bridge the communication gap? Watch the clip below for Moore’s solution:

Watch the entire discussion “Coming Home: The Challenges and Opportunities For Returning Veterans,” which also features interviewer Willie Geist of NBC’s “TODAY” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Moore, also a best-selling author, is a board member of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), a veterans advocacy group, which supported the launch of the Aspen Veterans Initiative. Find out more about the initiative here.