Yesterday morning, it was my honor to join veterans for a ceremony to honor all those who served our nation in the armed forces. Many of those at the ceremony were also members of our hardworking, dedicated, world-class state employee workforce. To our state employee veterans and to every veteran: Thank you.
Yesterday was a particularly special Veterans Day because it also was Washington state’s 125th birthday. I was honored to spend the day at events recognizing veterans and celebrating our state’s 125th.
Of course every Veterans Day we pause to remember the sacrifices of those who served in the military. They served our nation selflessly and show the same commitment to the great state of Washington. One of the best ways to show appreciation to our veterans is to respect and value their skills and talents in the civilian workforce. That’s why my first executive order as governor was about increasing employment opportunities for veterans.
That order is just one piece of the great work happening in state government on behalf of veterans. From programs in the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs to the Washington Employment Security Department, I want to thank you for all you have done to help lead the way when it comes to recruiting and retaining veterans.
And we’ve got good news: The number of veterans employed by the state remains above the workforce average. Your efforts are helping us stay on track with our Results Washington goal of increasing the overall employment rate for veterans in our state to 72.6 percent by 2015. We made this a stretch goal, but we are a state that can do hard things, and I’m confident in our ability to achieve this.
Washington state will be a model employer thanks to your work and your leadership. I look forward to our continued work together to ensure more veterans and their families share in Washington’s prosperity.
Very truly yours,