Google, the tech firm whose name is synonymous with Internet searches, is introducing a new tool to help U.S. military veterans build careers after leaving the armed forces.
The product, built into Google’s job-search function, allows ex-military personnel to search positions using their occupational specialty code, retrieving a list of employment opportunities where their skills are in particular demand, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company said Monday.
“The transition process is complex,” and the firm’s new resources are designed to “play a part in making that easier,” Lisa Gevelber, vice president of the “Grow with Google” operation, said in a statement. While the unemployment rate among veterans has dropped in the past year, reaching 3 percent at the end of July, former military personnel often struggle to find positions where they can use their specialized knowledge to full advantage and then to adapt to vastly different working conditions.
A 2011 study by the Pew Research Center found that 44 percent of veterans in the post-9/11 era experienced difficulties making the transition. Google, which cited estimates that about 250,000 service members a year will leave the military through 2019, noted that military spouses face a 20 percent unemployment rate and 35 percent under-employment rate after years of leaving jobs because of reassignments.
“We look forward to working with America’s transitioning service members to help them succeed in civilian life,” Gevelber said. Employers will be able to incorporate Google’s tool into their own recruitment sites, the company noted, and companies like FedEx and Pepsi have already begun using it.
Google Maps and Search, meanwhile, will include a feature to help users identify veteran-owned businesses. Google.org, the search engine’s philanthropy arm, will also provide a $2.5 million grant to the United Services Organizations, a nonprofit that supports military members, for a certification that will help help participants find information-technology jobs.
“There is an opportunity to re-equip service members with IT skills as they move on to their next chapter after military service and to help address the spouse unemployment/underemployment problem with highly portable careers,” Alan Reyes, a USO senior vice president, said in a statement.