Obama Urges Tax Credits, ‘Reverse Boot Camp’ to Help Veterans

President Barack Obama is proposing expanding tax credits and a “reverse boot camp” to help veterans find jobs and adjust to civilian life as part of an effort to curb veteran unemployment.

Obama will visit the Washington Navy Yard today to discuss his plans for giving veterans the support they need to join the civilian workforce, the administration said in describing the initiative. The aim is to give companies incentives to hire and train as many as 100,000 workers by 2013.

“We have an obligation to make sure our veterans are able to navigate this difficult labor market,” the administration said in an announcement previewing Obama’s visit.

With 1 million veterans unemployed as of June and more set to leave the military as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, the administration proposed giving companies a $2,400 tax credit for each short-term hire and $4,800 for each long-term job.

The credit for hiring service members with disabilities who have been unemployed long term would be raised to as much as $9,600. The existing credit under the government’s wounded warrior program provides a maximum credit of $4,800.

The administration said the plans are appropriate and it expects the public will support them. The cost would be about $120 million, the administration estimated, with the tax credits designed to be temporary and alleviate unemployment during the sluggish recovery from the recession.

The reverse boot camp is intended to prepare service members for employment and offer education options when they leave the military, the administration said.