Bloomberg 2020

January 4, 2020

Mike Bloomberg Unveils Plan to Strengthen Economic Security, Position Veterans and Their Families For Success in the Civilian Workforce

Building on his unique experience in both business and government, Mike’s plan helps improve employment prospects by making connections between veterans and employers; also protects military families from predatory banking practices, and provides other support to help transition to civilian life.   

Release and Fact Sheet are available for download here
 Watch Mike Bloomberg's remarks live from Fayetteville at 2:45PM EST here.

Fayetteville, NC — January 3, 2020  Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg outlined his plan to ensure that veterans have access to quality jobs and economic security for themselves and their families as they transition out of active service and into the civilian economy. Mike’s plan, which he detailed during a speech in Fayetteville, North Carolina, before a crowd of veterans and their families, clears the roadblocks to fulfilling work by providing tools and support to help veterans re-enter the workforce and gain new skills, while also providing protections against predatory banking practices.

Nearly three million women and men have served our nation over the last decade and more than one million veterans are expected to transition to civilian life in the next five years, with many facing an uncertain economic future. Our veterans are some of the most knowledgeable, well-trained people America has to offer. They return home with hundreds of unique and valuable skills – and many have more management experience and leadership potential than the average CEO. But one third of all veterans are underemployed, largely because employers don’t understand how to apply those skills towards critical roles in their companies.

Mike’s plan builds on his unique experience in both business and government, and his understanding about how to make the connection between veterans and companies. He recognizes that the women and men of our Armed Forces come from every corner of America and all backgrounds and, through their service, have gained skills and experience that can strengthen the American economy and communities. And, he knows how to help companies understand the value of what veterans bring and how to make the right connections to benefit both veterans and employers. 

Mike’s plan: 
  • Creates a central repository of the skills required for a military position and the most common civilian jobs that are related. 
  • Educates companies to better understand the unique skills that veterans bring to the workforce, including the value in including veterans as part of their diversity-and-inclusion efforts. 
  • Calls for the collection of data and developing systems to better evaluate the needs of veterans in order to inform and prioritize future employment support services. 
  • Offers credentialing services and support throughout a veteran’s entire career.
  • Makes employment and education benefits available to veterans, and provides critical financial literacy support to help protect veterans and their families from predatory lenders.
  • Helps veterans transition to life outside of the military and into new communities. 

Mike’s plan also provides relief to any veterans that need support to combat the sense of isolation that may contribute to veteran homelessness, opioid use and suicide. 

“President Trump has broken his promise to veterans – he’s done nothing significant to fix what’s broken in the VA, find solutions to the many problems plaguing our vets, or bring people together to help those who’ve served,” said Mike Bloomberg. “As president, I will work every day to repay the debt this country owes our veterans – starting by helping them to succeed in the civilian workforce. Veterans are among the most competent, well-trained people in America, and it’s time for the nation to tap into that limitless potential by helping them find jobs that take advantage of their training, teaching them new skills, and giving them the resources required to start a successful business of their own.”

In his speech, Mike took on the President’s questionable record, and highlighted the need to improve the management of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the challenges that veterans face gaining access to quality healthcare, housing affordability, and other critical issues. Mike’s plans to address those and other related issues will be released in the coming weeks.

Mike has a record of supporting veterans and families who have served in the military around the world. As a mayor, businessman, and through his philanthropic work, he has always provided support for veterans as they hang up their uniforms and transition into civilian life. In contrast, despite vowing to support America’s veterans, President Trump has proposed budget cuts, sought to undermine the ACA, and gutted critical nutrition and other programs that negatively impact the lives of veterans and their families. On his third day in office, President Trump signed an order freezing pay for federal workers, which disproportionately affected veterans, who are an essential part of the federal workforce.

In addition to unveiling his plan, Mike announced “Veterans and Military Families for Mike,” a national organizing program to identify, persuade and turnout members of the veteran and military community for the Bloomberg 2020 campaign. Housed within the National Coalitions and Constituencies program, the Veterans and Military Families organizing program is led by Paul Kennedy, a retired US Marine Corps two-star general. It will include state-based, veteran and military family-specific organizers.  North Carolina and California have already begun to implement their programs and outreach with staff dedicated to this program. Additionally, the program will engage a universe of veteran and former military surrogates to support the campaign and introduce relevant policy proposals.

Release and Fact Sheet are available for download here.


Admiral Michael Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
"Mike Bloomberg has zeroed in on one of the most important issues for our military families — the transition back to a full and successful civilian life," said Admiral Michael Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "He has laid out a series of important policies to provide greater economic security for our veterans."
"We ask our women and men in uniform to give their lives for our country, and invest so much in training them to become great soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guardsmen, and then we don't do nearly enough to help them find good jobs and careers to support themselves and their families when they come home," Admiral Mullen said. "Mike's plan addresses that gap in support and is a much-needed step forward for veterans and their families, and our nation."
"Under Mike's plan, veterans and their families will be able to take advantage of job training programs, financial literacy services, and opportunities to start their own businesses," Admiral Mullen said. "Empowering veterans to take charge of their financial future is exactly the right thing to do."

Melissa McCaw, Military Spouse
"Raising two young kids with a husband in the military can be challenging at times but every day I'm proud of him and our family's service to our nation," said Melissa McCaw, a military spouse in Fayetteville, North Carolina. "I just want to make sure we are even stronger when he finishes his service. Mike Bloomberg's plan to provide job training and career and financial literacy services to veterans and their families will help our family and families like ours across the country."
"Mike Bloomberg understands and values the daily sacrifices military families make for our country," McCaw said. "And he wants to make sure we have a secure future. I'm grateful Mike is looking out for my family."

Thomas E. Norman Founder of Veterans Bridge Home, a Charlotte-based organization that connects veterans and their families, in any state of transition, to communities.

“One of the most difficult things for veterans to do after serving is coming back to civilian life,” Norman said. “Mike Bloomberg knows that ex-service members struggle to find good jobs and build new lives after serving. He’s committed to giving our heroes the tools and support they need to carve out meaningful lives in their communities. They have given us so much and helping them fully come home and find work, it’s the least we can do.”

“Mike is a friend of veterans,” Norman said. “His plan is a serious one that supports veterans who want to learn new careers, who want to learn financial literacy, and even helps protect their pensions. Being financially secure is critical. Mike understands this and he’ll make sure every veteran has access to services that will make the transition into civilian life easier.”

“Veterans do get some help transitioning from the US government, but it isn’t enough,” Norman said. “They have many skills and a solid work ethic, but they need companies to hire them. Mike will increase incentives for companies that hire veterans. He also wants a national job portal to help our heroes find good jobs. Mike is a guy who works hard every day and he appreciates that veterans want to work for an honest day’s wage. He’s committed to making sure our vets find those great jobs or get the skills that will get them good jobs so they can provide at home.”

Colin Hood, Lieutenant Colonel, Army (Retired)

“Our Veterans have given so much to our country,” Colin Hood, Lieutenant Colonel, Army (Retired), said. “We cannot forget the debt we, as a nation, owe them. Mike Bloomberg wants every Veteran to come home, feel supported and fulfill his or her full potential. Mike Bloomberg will go to Washington and get the job done. He will ensure every Veteran can achieve everything they are capable of being.”

“I’m a Veteran and a businessman,” Hood said. “I understand both military service and civilian life. Moving from the military into civilian life isn’t without its bumps and challenges. Although Mike Bloomberg did not serve, he listens, gets it and he has promised to help. Mike has a plan that will support Veterans find good jobs, good retraining if they need it, and even teaches Veterans to manage their finances.”

“Mike will protect Veterans from predatory lenders and scammers,” Hood said. “Payday lenders target Veterans, trapping them in a cycle of debt. Mike’s plan would prevent that from happening. It would set rules that make sure our military families don’t get caught up in that nonsense. He’s a very successful businessman and he wants our Veterans to be financially secure. He knows how to get things done and he will be a great friend to our deserving Veterans.”

“Mike Bloomberg has been helping our warriors for more than a decade,” Hood said. “He expanded the Veterans Employment Initiative act to include an entrepreneurship program. The program has courses on business planning, marketing and financing. Most importantly, it connects Veterans looking for jobs with Veteran-owned businesses. 's free.”
Paul Kennedy, Ret. Major General, U.S. Marine Corps, And Senior Advisor on Veterans and Military Families
"Mike Bloomberg understands that we, as a country, need to provide greater support to veterans re-entering the workforce because it's not just the right thing to do but it's a smart investment to make in our economic future," said Paul Kennedy, Ret. Major General, USMC, and Senior Advisor on Veterans and Military Families for Mike Bloomberg 2020. "Today, veterans consistently take jobs below their capability and potential with many of them only partially employed.  A third of veterans with degrees and certifications work in jobs that don't leverage their full education and training. That's a major missed opportunity for employers across the country. As president, Mike will make sure veterans have access to careers services in order to compete for the best jobs, and employers are educated about the unique skills and talents veteran applicants possess."
"I'm proud to stand with Mike Bloomberg because he has a strong record of supporting veterans and military families as a three-term mayor of New York City and self-made entrepreneur," Kennedy said. "As mayor, Mike launched the Veterans Employment Initiative, and in its first year it provided career services to 6,000 veterans and their spouses and helped connect nearly 1,200 to jobs. As a business leader, he has prioritized hiring veterans and putting their leadership skills to work, and he has encouraged other companies to do the same. I know Mike will do even more to support our veterans and military families when he gets to White House.”

Mayor Adrian Perkins of Shreveport, LA
"Nearly a third of our veterans are underemployed," said Mayor Adrian Perkins of Shreveport, Louisiana. "As a veteran myself, I know my sisters and brothers re-entering civilian life have the leadership skills and experience to succeed in every industry. Mike Bloomberg's common-sense plan to establish regional Centers of Excellence and Empowerment will bring companies and veterans together, with the support of the federal government, and create much-needed networking and employment opportunities for veterans across the country."
"I'm excited about Mike's plan to increase support for veteran entrepreneurs through the Small Business Administration," Perkins said. "As Shreveport's mayor, I'm committed to promoting innovation in my community. Mike's plan recognizes veterans, with the right coaching and financial assistance, can make a unique contribution to our local economies.”

Dan Akerson, former Chairman and CEO of General Motors

“Many years ago, when I and many other veterans fulfilled our service to our country, there was very little, if any, thanks for our service.  It’s different today. Many people perfunctorily say “thank you for your service” but too often, it stops there; especially, for our younger veterans and their families that may need help with the transition from military to civilian life.  These young and deserving men and women, who volunteered to serve, deserve better—a helping hand. Mike Bloomberg stands ready to help our veterans prepare themselves for the transition before and after they have served our nation. These veterans need job training and facilitation between companies’ needs and veterans’ skill sets as well as financial planning and counseling once they leave the service.  I proudly stand with Mike because Mike stands with veterans and their families.”


REMARKS: Mike Bloomberg Unveils Plan to Position Veterans and Their Families for Success in the Civilian Workforce

Read Mike Bloomberg's full policy here.
Remarks as Delivered

January 3, 2020
Fayetteville, North Carolina

“Well Melissa, thank you for that introduction, and for reminding us that it is not just servicemembers who sacrifice so much for this country, it is military families as well.
“And I wanted to thank Paul Kennedy for the kind words, also for the service that he has given this country, and our campaign. And finally to Scott Cooper – this might be an Army town, but I think we can all agree it’s always good to have one or two Marines at your side just in case.
“Seriously, it’s great to be here in Fayetteville and the great state of North Carolina.
“I have been traveling all around the country since launching my campaign – including Raleigh earlier this morning, and I’m going to Charlotte for the second time tonight.
“Everywhere I go, people have been very nice – and have made me feel right at home in each of the three cities. And we’ll have all our offices up and running today.
“The speech this morning was a rah-rah political thing. This is different being here today, partially because where it is, and also because what’s happening in the world.
“Last night, as I’m sure everybody knows, an airstrike killed Iran’s most notorious military commander, a murderer with the blood of Americans on his hands.
“However, without more information, we can only hope that the president has carefully thought through the national security implications of this attack for our country and the grave risks involved.
“But given his track record of making some reckless and impulsive decisions that undermine U.S. strategic objectives and weaken our allies – most recently in Syria – there really is every reason to be cautious and to be concerned.
“I think it is imperative that the administration now tries to de-escalate this crisis in order to prevent wider conflicts and protect American lives, and prevent Iran from escaping domestic pressure to reform its political and economic systems.
“But the reality is whatever happens next, it will be brave men and women like you, and families, who will bear the weight of an Iranian retaliation or further American response. And that same heavy burden that has been carried by military families in this country time and time again for generations.
“So I’m honored to be here this afternoon, speaking to so many who’ve already given so much to this country.
“As General Kennedy said, we’re building a coalition of veterans and military family members, each of whom is going to be an invaluable part of this campaign. They’re going to play a big role in powering us to victory. And they’re going to help us create and introduce policies that we think will actually give our veterans the support and resources they need. And that’s really what I want to talk about.
“The stakes of this election could not be higher. And there’s no group of people I would rather have in my corner than the men and women who are veterans of the United States Military. And more importantly, the spouses who we all know are every bit as formidable.
“I came here today because I hope each of you will join us in this fight. And because I don’t think there’s any better place to talk about how to better serve our veterans than Fayetteville, North Carolina.
“I don’t have to tell you that this is a military town. I think valor might actually be mixed into the cement at Fort Bragg.
“I have here with me a friend of mine who I did not know about her family’s history. She came down with me from New York, but it turns out her father was in the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg and helped design the Special Forces Museum here, so real connections. And she’s been a friend for a long time, but she never talked about her father.
“With more than 50,000 active duty personnel, it’s the largest military installation in the world. But it’s also much more than that: it’s the proud home of the Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps, and Army Special Operations command, and the Air Force Combat Control School. So congratulations to having all of these people here.
“I think it’s fair to say the men and women who fill the ranks at Fort Bragg are not ordinary soldiers – if there is even such a thing. They wear the same patches on their sleeves worn by the paratroopers and special operators who’ve literally shaped the course of history over the last century.
“I’m talking about the original paratroopers – the patriots who jumped behind enemy lines into battlefields across Europe during World War II. I’ve probably read everything on World Word II history. There’s a guy Max Hastings, a British author, who’s written a number of books about World War II and World War I, and I just look and can’t imagine the sacrifices that people made.
“And one of my first recollections in elementary school, I had a friend Marjorie Botolino, I think was her name, and her father was killed in World War II and there’s a monument near my house in the middle of a rotary, and it was the first time I ever knew somebody that had died. And I didn’t really know, I just knew the daughter, but he had given his life. And every year, one of the parades we had in Medford, Massachusetts always stopped and we laid a wreath at his memorial. And there’s a big cemetery right by my house, and as a Boy Scout or Cub Scout we used to go and put American flags on all of the gravestones for people who gave their lives protecting our country.
“This group here has invented a new way of fighting for the Army and set an impossibly high standard I think for bravery in America while also defeating fascism and defending democracy all around the world. And I’m talking about the soldiers who defended the Kuwaiti people in Operation Desert Storm, and who captured Saddam Hussein in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“And I’m also talking about today's soldiers – who, just like their predecessors, continue to keep America safe and protect our freedom around the world.
“The men and women stationed here at Fort Bragg have a profound duty. You need to be ready to deploy at a moment’s notice and be prepared to fight whenever and wherever your country needs you.
“We’ve seen that this week, when the American Embassy in Baghdad was attacked Tuesday, the 82nd Airborne got the call. They’re over there right now, ready to defend our diplomats, and foreign service officers, and Americans. And now following last night’s event, more are apparently on the way.
“It should surprise no one it was the 82nd – and there’s no division more capable of protecting Americans, I think, than them. They’ve been at the center of some of America’s greatest military victories, sometimes literally.
“Some of you might be familiar with this story – there’s lots of different versions of the story – but the gist is during the Battle of the Bulge, which you know just had its 75th anniversary, the Germans were on the offensive and they had the allies surrounded.
“They had broken through the American line and caused an entire U.S. armored division to retreat. And as the tanks rolled through the forest in the dead of winter with the Germans on their heels they came across an American GI digging a foxhole.
“He apparently looked up at the officer in one of the tanks and said: ‘Are you looking for a safe place?’ And the officer said yes. Well the GI in the foxhole said, ‘Well buddy, just pull your vehicle behind me. I’m the 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as the bastards are going to go.’ I don’t know if the story was true, but the essence of it certainly is.
“So while I may have many concerns with the president’s foreign policy, I have no concerns with the 82nd Airborne’s ability to protect and defend America’s interests abroad. And I’m praying for your loved ones’ safe return home.
“Now, I know we’re on Army turf, but today I want to speak about all branches of the military service that have my deepest respect. I think our country owes everyone who serves a debt of gratitude. As American citizens, it is our duty to serve those who serve us.
“In my generation, when people came back from Vietnam, this country did not treat them with the respect that those people deserved, and I’ve never forgiven us – all of us, me included. We did not stop and say thank you for the sacrifice.
“There are 20 million veterans in the U.S. and 680,000 in North Carolina alone. And right now, we are failing them in many of the same ways we failed the Vietnam vets.
“You know the statistics all too well: 20 veterans a day commit suicide, thousands have fallen prey to opioid addiction, and tens of thousands are homeless and living on the street, some in New York City – where I worked with them to get the services and help that they need.
“Meanwhile, today the VA struggles to provide the mental health services that so many veterans need and the federal government has failed, I think, to provide the resources and support to help them succeed out of uniform.
“President Trump promised to be the best president we’ve ever had for veterans – but this administration, I think, has not lived up to that promise. It has done nothing to fix what’s broken, find solutions, or bring people together to help those who’ve served.
“That’s why the president keeps taking credit for passing the Veterans Choice bill – which was signed by President Obama in 2014.
“But we shouldn’t be surprised. This is the same man who raised money for veterans – only to dump that money back into his campaign which is just really despicable.
“And that’s to say nothing of his disdain for the Constitution – the sacred document that many of you have sworn to defend and uphold.
“Throughout my life, in business and as mayor, I’ve tried to lead with honor and integrity. And I’ve solved big problems by building and supporting great teams. That’s what I’d bring to the White House – and that’s how I’ll lead as president and commander-in-chief if I’m lucky enough to get all the way.
“In the weeks to come, I will have much more to say about how we can tackle all of the challenges plaguing our veterans and their families, such as turning the VA around and getting them the mental health and medical treatment they need, finding homes for those who need them, and expanding the types of education and training opportunities available to them and their spouses.
“But to do right by our veterans and military families, we need to do more than recognize what they’ve done and experienced in uniform. We also need to recognize what they can offer as civilians.
“Remember, the greatest generation didn’t get their name just because they won World War II, but also because they came home, built the middle class, and created the strongest economy the world had ever seen. And I think it’s time for this country to tap into that limitless potential again.
“Our veterans are some of the most competent and well-trained people America has to offer. They return home with hundreds of unique and valuable skills – and many have management experience and leadership potential more than the average CEO in our country.
“But one third of all veterans are underemployed. That is just unacceptable. It’s a moral failure -- and it’s not good business sense either.
“That’s why my company has always made an effort to hire more veterans – and today there are around 200 working at Bloomberg, and we provide training to help them transition into their roles.
“When I was Mayor of New York, we launched a number of initiatives to connect veterans to job opportunities in the city. And we also created the first job center for veterans, staffed by veterans, as well as an entrepreneurship program to help veterans start and grow their own businesses.
“And today, I just want to announce a few ways that we will help veterans succeed in the civilian workforce by building on what I’ve learned and done in the private sector and during my time as mayor.
“First, as I said, veterans come home with a number of unique and valuable skills – and all too often, those skills go to waste. We’ll help them apply those skills to private sector jobs – and help them acquire new ones, so they have an even greater chance of success.
“We’ll create a database that will match them to the training they got in the military and jobs that will use and maximize those skills. We’ll extend some of the benefits of the Forever GI Bill to those covered under earlier plans and we’ll tighten loopholes that have allowed for-profit educational institutions to prey on military families. And we will enhance licensing portability, so state lines are not barriers to potential jobs. That’s one of the things that really hurts people.
“Second, we will completely reinvent the process for veterans returning home and transitioning into the civilian workforce. We need to meet new veterans where they are and start the retraining process immediately so they are ready to succeed on day one. And if they want to start their own business, the expertise and advice they need must be made readily available to them.
“To do these things, the government must do more than just provide resources – it also needs to engage the private sector better. That’s why, in partnership with the private sector, we’ll create regional centers to help prepare vets for getting a job or starting a business.
“We will also educate human resources officers in the private sector so that they can better understand the unique talents and needs of veterans. I’ll just tell you from personal experience when I talked to our own HR department before we started training the HR people – training the trainers – they just had no idea what the experiences were, what the skillsets were, and what the needs were of the people we were trying to hire.
“We need more good employees, the military turns out an awful lot of them. This mismatch has got to end, and I’m happy to say because it’s good for our business, if for no other reason, we’ve done that. Now we’ve got to make sure lots of other companies do the same thing.
“We’ll also launch a nationwide jobs portal – different from the skills database – that will connect veterans with opportunities.
“We will reward businesses who make the smart decision to hire veterans by expanding the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors tax credits. And we’ll launch a number of programs to help veterans who want to start their own business – and encourage investors to help them do so.
“This will include a grants competition for finding programs that will help veteran-owned startups get up and running. We did something similar in New York for immigrant-owned startups – it was phenomenally successful, and I know it can work for veterans as well. So we have the model, we’ve just got to implement it.
“And finally, third, we will ensure veterans and their families have the financial know-how to maximize what is rightfully theirs by offering lifetime financial advisory services to vets through the VA, and providing more guidance on how to get the most out of the pension money that they’ve sacrificed so much to earn.
“We owe our vets so much for all they’ve done for us and still do today, including many of you and your loved ones deployed overseas right now. We can do more, we must all do more.
“Our vets have answered the call of duty time and time again. They’ve won world wars, they’ve helped to spread and defend democracy around the globe, and they’ve kept us free and safe. That so many return home and feel marginalized and undervalued in society – or worse, forgotten altogether – is one of the greatest failures of our nation.
“So before I end, I just want to make a few promises to you today. As commander-in-chief, I promise to never put our fighting men and women in harm’s way unless it is absolutely necessary.
“And as president, I promise to ensure that our vets have the resources and support they need to succeed – in and out of uniform.
“I promise to never lose sight of the tremendous sacrifice that our veterans and military families have made for each and every one of us, as we did after Vietnam. And I will work every day to make sure that this country repays the great debt we owe them.
“I just want to speak for my family – my daughters, my grandkids, and myself – there’s no way that I can say thank you enough. The great pleasure and opportunity and reward I have for living in this country, and the freedoms that we have here, was paid for by the sweat and blood of the people who joined the military.
“I can’t speak for anybody else, I can just tell you I will not forget. Thank you very much.”