Maryland announces 100-day veteran hiring challenge

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJLA) - Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown on Monday announced a 100-Day Veteran Hiring Challenge, to begin June 1.

The statewide campaign, nicknamed Operation Hire, will encourage employers to hire Maryland veterans and offer additional support services to veterans seeking employment across the state.

"Veterans bring remarkable skill sets and qualities to our civilian work environment. They display fierce loyalties and commitment, a strong work ethic, excellent problem solving capabilities, and technical training," O'Malley said in a statement. "Supporting veteran employment is not only good for our veterans and their families, it is good for our communities and our businesses."

The O'Malley-Brown administration set a goal of full employment of all veterans by the end of 2015.

"While we owe them a debt we can never fully repay, Operation Hire will play a critical role in supporting the men and women who have given so much for our state and for our nation," said Brown. "As we continue to grow our economy and create jobs faster than any other state in our region, we must remain committed to ensuring that our veterans can use the skills they learned defending our country to compete for good, middle-class jobs throughout our state."

Starting June 1, businesses and agencies can visit the Operation Hire web page for more information and to register as a participant in Operation Hire. Hiring toolkits and veteran employment resources will be available online and, for 100 days, the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs will reportedly share participant information and track hiring.

According to the administration, in the early fall, businesses and agencies who participate in Operation Hire will be recognized for their efforts.

Last year, the O'Malley-Brown administration proposed, and the General Assembly passed, the Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013, which removes certain barriers to employment that service members often face when making the transition from military service to the civilian workforce, the administration said.

The Act also reportedly expedites the process for certain occupational and professional licensing for recently discharged veterans and spouses when a military family moves to Maryland.

Visit the Operation Hire website or call Dana Hendrickson, MDVA, at 410-260-3842 for more information.