Los Angeles Mayor
The city will dedicate $9 million over the next five years to connect veterans with jobs, the mayor said, and ensure that 10% of those served at the city's new workforce development centers, set to open next month, are veterans.
"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."
Through the "10,000 Strong" initiative, more than 100 employers have agreed to hire veterans, including
Government organizations that have committed to hire veterans include Los Angeles County, the LAPD and LAFD,
Garcetti estimated that participating companies have collectively pledged to offer 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 when they look for jobs.
Watkins got a graduate degree after returning home and moved to L.A. in late 2013 to look for a job. But she couldn't find work. For more than six months, she said, she was part of the "couch-surfing homeless" population of veterans seeking work.
After submitting more than 100 job applications, she landed a job in mid-April as a career development specialist at
The unemployment rate among L.A. County's 330,000 veterans is more than 15%, said county Supervisor