First lady praises construction industry hiring

More growth for jobs in 2014

WASHINGTON -     Michelle Obama says a pledge by the construction industry to hire 100,000 veterans by 2019 isn't only the right thing to do, it's a smart thing for business.

   Some 100 companies and associations in the construction field are announcing their veterans' hiring commitments on Monday at a conference organized by the Labor Department and the initiative Joining Forces. Joining Forces is a nationwide effort launched in 2011 by Mrs. Obama and the vice president's wife to rally the nation around military veterans.

   Mrs. Obama says nearly 400,000 veterans and their spouses have been hired under the initiative, which includes such household names as Starbucks and Walmart.

   Labor Secretary Thomas Perez says Monday's announcements are significant because it's the first time an entire industry has pledged an effort to hire veterans.

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