Toyota is launching an initiative to help U.S. veterans find jobs, the automaker announced Monday.
Toyota will team up with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer, a former Marine sniper who received his award for heroism in combat in Afghanistan.
“Our country has been served by the people that make up the best employees -- where qualities like loyalty, commitment and hard work are not only required, but honored," Meyer said in a release. He will advise Toyota on the new project.
Finding jobs for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, particularly the younger ones, has been a challenge. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated in March that of the 2.4 million men and women who had served since September 2001, 12.1 percent were unemployed. The unemployment rate for males aged 18 to 24 was even worse: 29.1 percent, compared to 17.6 percent among their non-veteran peers.
As part of a larger project, the Chamber has been sponsoring Hiring Our Heroes jobs fairs around the country to connect those veterans with employers. The organization says that more than 10,000 veterans and spouses have been hired through the program.
Toyota will not create any additional jobs specifically for veterans as part of the new project, but the automaker is backing a "Personal Branding Initiative" to assist vets in translating their military skills into terms employers can understand.
According to a survey by job search website Monster.com, military jargon sometimes creates a communication gap between vets and potential employers.
"This is more about helping to communicate and equip them with tools," Toyota spokeswoman Shand Spencer said of the new initiative. In particular, vets are encouraged to work on an elevator pitch about why their military service will make them a better employee.