Goal: Hire 8,000 Veterans for Community Health Centers

October 25, 2011 |
Matt Flavin

Matt Flavin, director of the White House Veterans, Military Families and Wounded Warrior Task Force.

Matt Flavin, Director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy in the White House, posted an update on the White House blog today on the American Jobs Act. You’ve probably heard about the major details already: a tax credit for companies who hire veterans (with bigger credits for companies who hire disabled veterans). But there’s fresher news today, with the announcement of the Community Health Center Veterans Hiring Challenge, which will look to have community health centers hire 8,000 veterans over the next three years. There will also be a focus on giving grants to universities and colleges that help train veterans for careers as physician assistants.

In a conference call, Flavin, an Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said, “Veterans shouldn’t have to fight for a job once they’ve come home from the fight overseas… Too many of our veterans are having to have the fight.”

Community health centers, which are under the Department of Health and HUman Services, serve low-income groups, with the plan creating a job for at least one veteran in each center. Employees at centers include doctors, nurses, physicians’ assistants, outreach workers, managers and patient support staff.

The text of Flavin’s post is below. Stay tuned to see how the nuts and bolts of this initiative shake out… and if you have any early opinions, we want to hear from you in the comment section on this page.


I think all Americans can agree that veterans shouldn’t have to fight for a job once they’ve come home from the fight overseas. But, all too often, those who have sacrificed so much for America struggle to find a job worthy of their talents. As the President has said, “if you can save a life in Afghanistan, you can save a life in an ambulance. If you can oversee millions of dollars of assets in Iraq, you can help a business balance its books here at home.” Ensuring our nation’s veterans get the opportunities they have earned has been one of President Obama’s top priorities as Commander in Chief. 

That’s why President Obama called for a new Returning Heroes Tax Credit of up to $5,600 for firms that hire unemployed veterans and a Wounded Warriors Tax Credit that will increase the existing tax credit up to $9,600 for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities.These credits are included in the American Jobs Act. Unfortunately, these tax credits that could help companies hire veterans are held up in Congress.  

While we will continue to work with Congress to bring up the American Jobs Act piece by piece, we will increase our focus on taking executive actions that fight for the middle class because the American people simply can’t wait. That’s why today, the Obama Administration is announcing two new initiatives to help create jobs for veterans. 

1. Hiring 8,000 Veterans in Three Years: The Community Health Center Veterans Hiring Challenge 

Today, the Obama Administration challenged Community Health Centers to hire 8,000 veterans – approximately one veteran per health center site – over the next three years. The National Association of Community Health Centers will also contribute to this effort and joined the Administration in announcing this Community Health Center Veterans Hiring Challenge. 

2. Helping Veterans Become Physician Assistants 

Under this initiative, the Administration will make it easier for veterans to use the training they have received in the military to become physician assistants. We will begin to give priority in physician assistant grant awards to universities and colleges that help train veterans for careers as physician assistants. In an effort to expand the number of training programs that accommodate veterans, the Administration also will identify model programs that offer expedited curricula for veterans and that offer enhanced veteran recruiting, retention, and mentoring services, and help bring these best practices to other programs. 

These efforts build on previous Administration efforts to create jobs for veterans including sending 600,000 veterans back to school on the Post-9/11 GI Bill and hiring over 100,000 veterans into the federal government over the past year and a half. And just last week, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that the American Logistics Association (ALA) and their 270 affiliate companies committed to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013. This commitment is part of the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces initiative to support veterans and military families. The ALA’s commitment will fulfill a quarter of the President’s challenge to the private sector to hire or train 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013. 

This work is also happening across the federal agencies.The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, are working closely with other agencies and the President’s economic and domestic policy teams, to lead a new task force to ensure that every member of the military receives the training, education, and credentials they need to transition to the civilian workforce or to pursue higher education. This initiative includes the design of a “Transition Boot Camp,” which will give service members additional counseling and guidance and help them depart their active duty service “career-ready.” 

Over the weeks and months ahead, we’ll continue to take actions like these that will improve the economy and help middle class families including our nation’s veterans because we simply can’t wait.

About Ho Lin

Ho Lin is an editor at Military.com. His interests include naval history, the New York football Giants, and loud rock music.


  1. Dawneagle says:

    All very good, but these vets have to meet state requirements for medical certification or licensure, in order to get a good paying job. MIlitary doctors, RN's and Physician Assistants do not have any trouble getting jobs in the private sector. Miltary corpsman and many other medical specialities will have. It's all typical political smoke and mirrors.

    • DAVID C. says:

      I agree, but…..MIlitary doctors, RN's and Physician Assistants prepare by obtaining their certifications upon graduation from their programs. The military does a poor job encouraging enlisted to do so, but you must take this initiative yourself by getting the paperwork from your school and applying for to the licensing board for your state. The GI bill covers the fees to take the exams…. http://www.gibill.va.gov/resources/education_reso

  2. Well this is big opportunity for the veterans and military spouses. Thanks to God this is we are waiting for. Because mostly our returning vets and family have so much sacrifice. One example me and my wife have too much hardship since I got out from military. I have a hard time to get job and hard time to get approve on my disability compensation benefit and my wife lost her job. Until now I am still waiting. We don't know where to ask for help but no one really give us help even on food stamps they give us hard time services in Pomona, Ca.

  3. I Served says:

    ho ho ho ho how far left do you lean? Sounds like BS straight out of a obamass speech!

  4. Doc LZ says:

    I was a corpsman and in the military i was certified to do just about anything. Once i got out was not even allowed to draw blood. 5 million dollars of tax payer money down the toilet because all of the crazy civilian requirements. pardon me if i don't trust this plan.

  5. swilliams says:

    I'm with ya, Doc LZ. 2 years of nursing school, plus military quals like yours, and I "don't have the licensure." I'd need 2 years of school to get it. What a load of garbage. I said hire me and if I can't do it all, I'd lead the way out the door in a month if I don't, but no dice. There's no damned way I'm spending 2 years to "learn" what I already know!

    • Fred says:

      I had to go through all the prerequisite courses just to apply for entry to a nursing program back in 1993 after I spent twenty years in the Air Force, I was admitted and graduated in 1996 with an associate degree in nursing, yeah it is a lot of work, and your may feel that you can do it all but without that degree you will never get a job as a nurse. You better not wait too long, if you want to become a nurse get your ass in school and study hard. I will be graduating with a BSN from Texas Tech in December. Yeah it's worth it.

    • NAVerM3 says:

      Get over yourself, hotshot. I’ve been an RN for more than 30 years, and put in 10 years in the military. If you have to have a degree to be a nurse in the service, what makes you think you wouldn’t need a degree as a civilian? Yes, your training and experience are valuable. But if you’re so smart, why didn’t you research it before now? We live in a nickel and dime, litigious society and now that the medical profession is run like any other corporation in this country you will continuously have to jump through the hoops if you want to participate. My suggestion? Apply to PA school. You have to be doing something for the next 2 years anyway…you might as well be in school.
      You’ll get where you want to be much faster, and the pay isn’t bad either. Good luck to you.

  6. 20yr_Veteran says:

    I've made numerous inquiries to ALA, White House Publicity, and Stars and Stripes where the 25K veterans jobs story came from and NOBDOY AT ALL can tell you WHO or WHERE those jobs are.
    Some are stating that this is a non-existent plan !

    SOMEBODY Prove me wrong and give me just 1 email or 1 phone number to call and find out WHO is hiring Where?

  7. Kevin says:

    those that have fallen on truly hard times contact your vet rep for your claims if you have any bills that are in for collection talk to them about filling for hardship on your case mangement

  8. Mario_Sr says:

    I am a Certified Community Healthcare Worker. I am not working in that capacity as the funding necessary to sustain full time employ does not exist to any large degree. The need is there. I found working in support of State level Govt. and NGO's (Agencies) that are on foundering budgets were staffed by scared workers. I felt as if we (a class funded by NIH supplied at no cost to the above for 6 mos.) were seen as "cheaper labor" vying for a position. I'm not saying we were'nt interested working there, but you get the idea. The ongoing funding has to exist to deploy that many CCHCW's as the $ isn't there. Sorry.

  9. El Maestro says:

    I'm a retired Veteran (4 USN and 23 USNR) and I'm laid off for 3rd time in 4 years. Being a Vet hasn't helped me one iota. The VA and local Colorado businesses sponsored 19 vets for a Program called Energy Boost and paid for 15 days of intensive training in alternative energy. We were promised one-on-one interviews and a good chance at employment. Here we are a little more than a year later and ONE classmate was employed by one of the sponsoring companies. I have lost all hope in a job through a Vet rep at one of the state workforce centers. I moved a 1000 miles to another state and am pounding the street talking to people seeking a job that will get me off unemployment. Good luck to all vets.

  10. SGM (R) Sid Katz says:

    I Agree;All BS

  11. HomelessVetINSC says:

    In the State of South Carolina, I am about to be homeless. I was phased out of my job, however I went to the VA for help, all I got was a list of shelters, no job, no offer of training or anything. I am trying to go to school to become a paramedic, doing things the civilian way, it is not working. My ultimate goal is to become a PA(Physician's Assistant). By the time I get to that point my 911GIBIll benefits will be exhausted. However I will not give up, homeless or not, I will do what I have to do to accomplish my goal. Good luck to all my veteran brothers and sisters, when you get down, keep your head up and press on.

    • Bennett says:

      If you are in South Carolina, you may want to apply for an assembly job at Boeing. Go online to apply. If you are about to be homeless means you can relocate- Go where the job is.

  12. Bone Man says:

    I read on another site that Western Canada can't find enough workers to staff the oil and oil – shale fields. Seems like they might want health-care workers, too — tho the roughneck jobs probably pay better. Cold climate, but they said good pay. Try a few phone calls …

    • NAVerM3 says:

      The scenery is probably much nicer in western Canada, but check out northwest North Dakota. It’s one of the few areas of the country that is expanding right now, and there is a lot of hiring, not only in the oil industry but in all the support systems that go with it. Don’t load up the wagon until you get something in writing, but it’s worth checking into.

  13. Political BS all the way. I am a 30 year retiree drawing a damn good pension (thank God) but looking at this Job's Act… It is all false hope and sadly will never hit even 1% of those that need it.

  14. EDDIE says:


  15. Marcelino says:

    Funny how they mention the private sector, but what about the VA? I just got my associate degree in Nursing and tried to apply to the Houston Texas VA and got rejected because they only accept Bachelor degree, isn't that a shame? I served in the Marines 4 years and did 1 tour to Iraq, I can only imagine for the ones that are just coming back, how hard it is to find a job.