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Michelle Obama urges businesses, non-profits to hire war veterans

By the CNN Wire staff
  • Returning soldiers are highly trained and skilled, the first lady says
  • She spoke at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative

New York (CNN) -- America's returning soldiers are an untapped resource of skilled and experienced leaders who can help the Clinton Global Initiative meet its goals, Michelle Obama said Thursday in a speech at the annual meeting of the group, started by former President Bill Clinton.

The U.S. first lady said veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are trained in state-of-the-art medical, information and communications technology, ran the complex military operation that moves equipment and supplies to thousands of locations around the world, and had borne the responsibility of undertaking life-or-death missions.

Businesses need such "highly valuable, highly transferable, highly marketable skills," she said, adding that more than 150,000 veterans who have returned home in recent years are looking for work.

Obama urged the business leaders, non-profit groups and others participating in the Clinton initiative to look to the war veterans and their spouses as an available and well-prepared asset.