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On Tuesday, April 12, SHRM's Interim President and CEO Hank Jackson (pictured below at the far right) participated in the White House announcement of a new presidential initiative called “Joining Forces,” accompanying President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden (at the podium), first lady Michelle Obama, and Dr. Jill Biden on the dais during their remarks.

Joining Forces is a national initiative to encourage public and private-sector support of America's service members and their families in the areas of employment, health and education. Led by Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden, the program aims to spark action from all sectors of our society to ensure that military families receive the support they have earned—including employment opportunities.

HR will play a critical role in this initiative. As Jackson stated, "Many HR professionals have incorporated innovative workplace strategies to hire military spouses and support families. We want to make sure that these effective practices are shared so others can emulate them in their own organizations."

SHRM was invited to participate in this event in recognition of our commitment to the employment needs of military veterans and reservists, and the tremendous efforts of SHRM's members on this issue, including the more than 275 chapters and 31 state councils that have signed a Statement of Support with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).  In the White House media release about the announcement, SHRM was cited, along with a handful of other organizations, for having "committed to major hiring and training initiatives for veterans and family members."

Check back for further developments in this initiative in future issues of HR Issues Update.

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