Activision CEO: American Companies Should Do More for Jobless Veterans

In an editorial on Huffington Post, Activision Blizzard CEO (and co-chairmen of the company's charity, The Call of Duty Endowment), says that American corporations are not doing enough to help veterans returning home from two wars only to find a job market that doesn't want to hire them. This new battle at home, as Kotick calls it, puts veterans in a higher bracket of unemployment than the national average.

Kotick cites data from the latest Employment Situation of Veterans' annual report – released earlier this week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to that report, the unemployment rate for veterans who served after 9/11 was 12.1 percent in 2011. The jobless rate among all veterans is at 8.3 percent. The hardest hit within that group are young returning veterans (18-24), who have an unemployment rate of 29.1 percent. That's 17.6 percent higher than non-veteran males.

Kotick's point is that the private sector should do more to help these young soldiers find employment, and that not all problems have to be tackled solely by the public sector.

"While the Federal Government is trying its best, there is one school of thought that says it's not a public policy issue in the first place. It's private enterprise that can create jobs and fill them," writes Kotick. "It's business that can train people and make them productive tax-payers. And it's America Inc. that has the most to gain from tapping this extraordinary human resource. With so many new veterans — tested in battle, but novices in the job market — looking for work, it will take a broad-based effort by American business to meet the needs of these returning warriors. America Inc. must embrace the challenge."

He goes on to lay out four steps that every company in the United States can take to help unemployed veterans:

(1) Commit — Resolve as an enterprise to identify and take actions to change the employment landscape for veterans as a group.

(2) Affiliate — Find an organization or two to support, in particular those groups that provide veterans with the job placement, education and training needed to launch successful post-military lives.

(3) Act — When hiring, recruit veterans; if expansion isn't in the picture, direct corporate giving towards veterans groups that provide employment assistance. Consider undertaking training, internships, apprenticeships or mentoring programs aimed at vets.

(4) Network — Approach customers, vendors and other businesses and ask them to take part. Put vet hiring on the radar screen of local chambers of commerce and trade associations.

Kotick closes by saying that veterans have the skills that employers want and need – "discipline, motivation, leadership and the ability to work on a team."

"It's time for American business to replace the yellow ribbons with help wanted signs."

You can read the entire editorial on The Huffington Post. In it Kotick also details the fine work that the Call of Duty Endowment does on behalf of veterans. Whatever opinions people may have about Kotick, it's hard to cast aspersions on a charity that actually helps people.

Source: Huffington Post

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  1. 0
    axiomatic says:

    For once I agree with Activision.

    I'm sure it feels good to have people support something you say for once eh Kotick? You still suck, but good on ya for these comments.

  2. 0
    BlindMaphisto says:

    Even if everything you just said it 100% true and I don't believe it is, they are still being shot, maimed, blown up, and everything else that happens to people in war and I say it's not worth it.

  3. 0
    Scott1701c says:

    The suicide rate in the military is usually misrepresented in the media.

    Where it is the highest is with soldiers who have NOT deployed, where their Girlfriends suddenly decide she does not want to wait a year (or some other BS).  The military lifestyle is stressful and not for everyone.

    Another issue is the fact that the suicide rate is not really higher in the military then the civilian numbers. That in conjunction with all the prevention programs and mental readiness. The Military goes above and beyond.


    I do not like the phrase "break the minds". War has been around for thousands of years and only the last two (Westerner) Generations have had this mindset of assuming brokenness where little exists. 

    While 30% of returning soldiers have PTS (Post Traumatic Stress), only 1% have PTSD (Post Tramatic Stress Disorder). PTS and PTSD are very different. The media uses the PTS numbers and claims that is the number for PTSD. With such bad reporting is it any wonder that employers are hesitant to hire.

    Anyway that is enough ranting for now. TY for listening.

  4. 0
    BlindMaphisto says:

    America should do a lot of things for the troops the most important of which is bring them home. Ten years of fucking warfare is going to break the minds of good soldiers. Why do you think the suicide rate is so fucking high in returning vets. It's painful to me to think the country has become a prowar empire that only considers supporting the troops in the most perfunctory of ways.

  5. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    I applaud the sentiment. Working to insure employment for those who served in the military is a noble goal. I especially like that he is emphasizing the need to fund placement programs for veterans. One of the things that many military veterans have trouble with is taking their military experience and finding a good civilian crossover. Many times it is a communication problem in which the jargon the vet is used to using to explain skills does not make sense to civilian employers. Specialized placement organizations have been doing a lot for that.

    On the other hand, the vet often doesn't have a lot of the skills that the private sector is looking for. This is especially true for those 18-24 vets whose entire military career has been as a foot soldier. While it is nice to have "discipline, motivation, leadership and the ability to work on a team." that is often not something that can take place of a college education or specialized training. I think focusing on college or vocational placement for these vets is more important than simply job placement.


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  6. 0
    ddrfr33k says:

    It's refreshing to see Activision doing something right.  Bravo, Bobby!  I may be critical of you most of the time, but this is not one of 'em.

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