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White House: Companies Commit To Hiring 25,000 Veterans

By Jared A. Favole Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- First Lady Michelle Obama will announce Wednesday that companies such as ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG) and Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) are committing to hiring 25,000 veterans by the end of 2013. The move is part of a broader effort by the Obama administration to help get soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan into the work force. President Barack Obama, who is on the final leg of a three-day bus tour of North Carolina and Virginia, also will use the announcement to tout tax credits for businesses that hire veterans. The first lady will announce that the American Logistics Association, a group of companies that includes ConAgra, Tyson, Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) and PepsiCo Inc. (PEP), will commit to hiring 25,000 veterans by the end of 2013. She will make the announcement at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia. Pat Nixon, president of the American Logistics Association, said many of the companies in the group already frequently hire veterans. Still, he said, increasing awareness about the need to hire veterans and the special leadership skills they build on the battlefield should help boost employment for soldiers returning from war. Nixon said veterans will have opportunities that span the "gamut" of positions, from entry-level jobs to management positions. Nixon said once chief executives see other companies making the commitment, they will follow suit. Other business groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, already have partnered with the White House to help veterans land jobs. As part of his jobs plan, Obama has proposed providing tax credits to companies who hire veterans. The president frequently bemoans the fact that veterans sometimes struggle to find jobs. "We ask these men and women to leave their careers, their families, to risk their lives for our country. The last thing they should have to do is fight to get a job when they come home," Obama says frequently when pitching his jobs bill. -By Jared A. Favole, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-9256; jared.favole@dowjones.com

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