As the unemployment rate for veterans who recently returned from service lingers at 10 percent, the federal government has been searching for ways to help former servicemembers succeed in the workforce. A new partnership between the State Department and private businesses seeks to not only bolster veterans, but also strengthen the relationship between the public and private sectors.
During a speech at the State Department, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the Veterans Innovation Partnership, or VIP, a program that will grant returning servicemembers fellowships at the State Department, as well as private companies such as the Overseas Private Investment Corp. According to a statement released by the Department of Defense, the program places an emphasis on international employment.
"The Veterans Innovation Partnership, VIP as we are calling it, is not about just what the State Department can do for veterans, it's really based on the notion that veterans can do a lot for the State Department and that we would be foolish not to try to reach out and harness the talent that exists," Kerry said.
Several other companies and institutions have signed up for the initiative, such as the University of Massachusetts, Boston and robot design company iRobot. According to the DOD, Kerry is encouraging other private sector businesses to join the program.