ARLINGTON, Va. — Bill Nelson, USA Cares executive director, and Michael J. Uremovich, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) 2011 national chairman, joined First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, along with thousands of military families and supporters, to promote training and jobs for U.S. veterans at the Ford 400 NASCAR race in Homestead, Fla., on Nov. 20.

“With the status of the current job market, our nation’s warriors are facing difficulties in finding work,” explained Nelson. “The 260,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans currently out of work reflect unemployment rates that are almost twice that of the national average.”

“We are passionate about putting our veterans to work,” Uremovich said. “We can think of no finer calling than to help those men and women who have served our country in defending our liberty and freedom than to help train them for a meaningful career,” he said. “The merit shop construction industry is ready to welcome them with open arms.”

The USA Cares and ABC relationship will facilitate the classroom instruction and on-the-job training of veterans in order for them to become construction professionals in crafts such as electricians, carpenters, and welders. Veterans that enter the craft training program will be guaranteed a job after they successfully complete their coursework, said ABC. The two organizations have pledged to train 1,000 veterans in 2012.

“USA Cares and ABC partnering to produce jobs for America’s veterans is a great example of what we hoped would ensue when the First Lady and Dr. Biden rolled out Joining Forces earlier this year — different sectors of society coming together to make an impact in the lives of our nation’s veterans,” said Brad Cooper, executive director of Joining Forces in the Office of the First Lady.

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Publication date: 01/09/2012