U.S. Pavement Services CEO Mike Musto issued a challenge today to U.S. companies that employ 50 or more people to pledge to hire at least one veteran in 2015. Musto also called on Congress to renew an expired tax incentive that rewards businesses for hiring veterans.
“As Veterans Day approaches, the best way that we can say ‘thank you’ to veterans is by making sure they have a job,” Musto said. “Veterans are not looking for hand-outs or special favors. Especially for those veterans returning from duty and reintegrating into the community, they just want the opportunity to make a living and support their families.”
Unemployment among veterans is 50 percent higher than that for the entire population. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed forces since September 2001 is 9.0 percent. The general unemployment rate in the U.S. is 5.9 percent.
Musto launched the company’s “Pledge to Hire A Veteran” program in 2012. The program is designed to “pave the way” for companies to identify and hire veterans, create career paths and foster growth for veterans, and serve as a general resource for this highly skilled but under employed demographic.
“Veterans bring a wealth of valuable experience and discipline to the workplace,” said Musto, whose company employs seven in its Woburn office. “They are an asset to my business and would be to any company.”
Musto also called on Congress to support the Expire Act of 2014 that includes a provision to provide tax credits for businesses that hire veterans.
“If we can give tax credits for Hollywood filmmakers, we should be able to give tax breaks to companies that hire people who go into harm’s way to defend our country,” said Musto. “We hope to work with congress to make this happen.”