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11/7/2011
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White House, Google Develop Job Search Tool For Vets

Google worked with Veterans Administration to develop the search tool, a widget that aggregates listings from Monster.com, Facebook, and similar outlets.

Obama's Tech Tools
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The White House has launched a new online search tool that aggregates job listings for veterans from various Web sites and other online resources as part of an ongoing effort to help out-of-work veterans find employment.

The Veterans Job Bank provides a widget with a search window veterans can use to browse job postings from a host of sources around the Web, including online job boards, social-media sites, and corporate employment sites, according to a White House blog post by U.S. CTO Aneesh Chopra.

The tool combines Google Custom Search with custom code--namely, Schema.org's JobPosting Markup--that is posted on sites that list job openings, particularly those prioritized for veterans. Google's custom search team worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop the search tool. Schema.org is a collaboration between Microsoft Bing, Google, and Yahoo search engines aimed at making structured data on the Web easier to find.

[ Facebook recently partnered with government to lend a hand to everyone--not just vets--who seeks employment. See Facebook, Feds Team To Help Job Seekers. ]

The Job Bank widget went live Monday on federal Web sites with more than 500,000 open job listings courtesy of Simply Hired, the first job search engine to use the JobPosting Markup to contribute listings to the tool, according to Chopra. The widget also can be added to other websites merely by cutting and pasting custom tags into the site's source code.

Monster.com's Military.com site, Indeed, and Taleo--a system that tracks applications for half of the Fortune 100 companies--also are sending listings to the job bank, according to Chopra. His post also included a link to instructions on how to tag job listings on other sites using the schema.

The Veterans Job Bank also aggregates listings from social media sites, including a special veterans-focused page on Twitter's TweetMyJobs and Facebook's BranchOut.

Other employment-associated websites also are joining in the fray to help veterans find jobs in honor of Veterans Day on Friday, Chopra said. Business social-networking site LinkedIn is hosting a "Hackday" on Friday to challenge developers to create applications and technology from a portfolio of open APIs and data sets that can help improve the lives of veterans.

Indeed, the Obama administration is making a concerted effort to help unemployed veterans find jobs, and the Veterans Job Bank is not the first time the feds have partnered with the private sector on this endeavor.

In August, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and other technology companies pledged to help unemployed veterans find work as part of an administration-backed initiative.

Their efforts were in response a challenge to the private sector by the president earlier in the year to provide jobs and job training for 100,000 unemployed veterans or their spouses by the end of 2013.

Other private-sector efforts to help veterans find job include a virtual career fair for veterans on Thursday hosted by UBM, publisher of InformationWeek, and sponsored by Amazon.com, Citi and Phillips, among other companies.

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