Blumenthal Announces Coalition of Businesses Committed to Hiring Veterans

(Hartford, CT) –Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today joined veterans and over 70 participants from large firms, small businesses, and state and municipal agencies, to discuss best practices and strategies for hiring and retaining veterans.

Blumenthal co-hosted the event with United Rentals, the largest equipment rental company in the world, who has an active veteran employment recruitment program. Additional participants included Pfizer, Merritt, and Travelers Insurance.

Said Blumenthal, “This commitment by Connecticut companies today demonstrates our effort to reduce the unacceptably high unemployment rate among America’s veterans, and we must begin a concerted effort to share information on the best ways to hire and retain veterans in all companies – big and small. I will continue to work to bring veterans, businesses, and agencies together to discuss this important issue, and advocate for legislation in Congress that will make it easier for companies to connect with our highly-skilled veterans.”

"Veterans have demonstrated their commitment to protecting and upholding the values of our nation, and in turn it is the duty of business to demonstrate its support by helping these brave young men and women find employment," said Michael J. Kneeland, CEO of United Rentals, Inc. "We join with Senator Blumenthal and other corporate leaders to seek ways to expand opportunities for veterans making the shift from military service to the civilian workforce.  Even in difficult economic times, we need to make sure the 'welcome mat' greets them."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that unemployment for veterans who served their country after September 2001 to be 11.5%, higher than the national unemployment rate.   As Connecticut’s Attorney General and as a Senator, Blumenthal has consistently supported efforts to increase employment among veterans. He has supported a number of bills in the Senate, including the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, the Veteran Employment Transition Act of 2011, and the Military Spouse Job Continuity Act of 2011 to provide tax credits, transition assistance, and job training to veterans.

Blumenthal’s inaugural bill in the U.S. Senate, the Honoring All Veterans Act of 2011, proposed a comprehensive program that would provide veterans with the job training, health benefits, and other services that they need upon returning home.