TODAY   |  March 28, 2012

Bloomberg: NYC is committed to hiring veterans

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he’s confident in our soldiers’ ability to succeed in the workplace and pledges that New York City will hire more veterans. Dr. Jill Biden says all Americans can help raise awareness about hiring veterans and commit to kindness towards soldiers in our schools, companies and neighborhoods

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> biden was kind enough to stick around. we're also joined by new york city 's mayor michael bloomberg . mr. mayor, welcome to the broadcast.

>> nice to be here. we're going to make a difference.

>> let's talk about that. because new york city has made a commitment. what is new york city 's commitment?

>> we have roughly a quarter of a million veterans here. about 3% or 4 prsz are unemployed and our commitment is to try to get all of those working. we try to help. we waived some fees on civil service exams . we give preference points. we have some volunteer lawyers that help them deal with legal problems, with the v.a. and other organizations. i try to make sure my company does things. we have a hiring program and a mentoring program. but we have the police department here. the corrections department here. we have a veterans affairs department here. all trying to recruit the best and the brightest . and these are young men and women who have what we really look for. and that's interpersonal skills and a dedication and a work ethic . they can survive in the military, they can survive in new york city . and there's a kind of employees that we want.

>> you heard it here. the jobs are being offered here in new york city . also joining forces, i've got to ask you about that dr. biden , because you and the first lady have been working for years now trying to send a message to everyday americans that we all need to step up. in what way can we step up in this regard in terms of finding people jobs?

>> i think we all have a role to play. corporations have a role to play like here today, hiring veterans. i think schools have a role to play in creating awareness of military children in the classroom. i think that individuals have a role to play. finding out who's in your neighborhood, who can you lend a hand to? who can you say, let me cut your lawn? in our case, when my son was deployed to iraq, a neighbor during a snowstorm just came and just shoveled the driveway, and just walked away, didn't even say anything. so, i think we all have a role to play, and so the first lady and i are just saying, commit to an act of kindness. every american can do something.

>> you know this is the attitude you're describing that existed after world war ii that opened the doors of so many americans who came back from the war. when they came back because of that open door they were able to become the greatest generation . there are those who study history who wonder whether these returning veterans, the most highly skilled. the most experienced fighting force in the history of this country, can become the next greatest generation . but they need training.

>> the president and the vice president have made a commitment to make sure that we don't make the mistakes that we did after vietnam and not welcome back people who put their lives on the line for the rest of us so we can enjoy the freedoms which sadly we're taking too much for granted. if they're committed, then the first lady, and dr. biden are committed to do it, and i can tell you new york city is committed. we have our work force one center, robin hood foundation , a very big charity, financial community is here, they've put up a lot of money to help us create jobs. there are lots of places these young people can fit in and really make a big crib use. we look at this as an asset, not an obligation.

>> change the way our thinking so we realize they are a boone to our economy. mr. mayor, thank you. dr. biden , thank you so much. and thank you so much