Los Angeles Mayor
The city will commit $9 million over the next five years to connect veterans with jobs, the mayor said, and ensure that they account for 10% of those being served at the city's new workforce development centers, set to open next month.
"Our troops are finally returning home," Garcetti said. "They need more than a smile and a hug. They need housing. They need jobs. They need full integration back into civilian life."
The 10,000 Strong initiative involves more than 100 employers who have agreed to hire veterans, including
Government organizations that have committed to the program include Los Angeles County, the LAPD and LAFD,
Garcetti estimated that participating companies have pledged to offer veterans a total of nearly 10,000 jobs.
Christina Watkins, who served two tours of duty as an Army reservist in Iraq, said veterans often don't know how to present and sell their skills to employers.
Watkins earned a graduate degree after she returned home to New York. She moved to L.A. last year but couldn't find work. For more than six months, she said, she was part of the "couch-surfing homeless" population of veterans.
After submitting more than 100 job applications, she landed a job in mid-April as a career development specialist with the
Among L.A. County's 330,000 veterans, more than 15% are unemployed, according to county Supervisor
"If we're prepared to send so many young men and women into harm's way," the supervisor said, "we should be willing to support them when they come home."