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Verifying the 125,000 "new hires" of veterans and military spouses under the White House's Joining Forces initiative has proved difficult because the White House will not reveal the complete list of jobs filled through the partnership with private industry.
"Some companies that reported their numbers to us consider the information proprietary in nature, so we want to respect that," said a White House official.
The numbers include those hired and those trained in anticipation of being hired.
However, Military Times was able to verify the numbers from a variety of government and industry sources.
In response to reader inquiries, Military Times asked the White House for verification of the data behind its announcement that more than 125,000 veterans and military spouses had been hired by mid-August, surpassing the goal of hiring 100,000 by the end of 2013.
Publicly available information on the White House website lists commitments of all the organizations and companies but offers an incomplete list of only about 4,000 actual hires.
White House officials provided a list of 11 companies and organizations to contact for their perspective. The six organizations that responded by press time indicated they had hired about 20,000 people under the Joining Forces initiative.
Companies contacted by Military Times that are part of the hiring initiative, launched in April 2011, said they provide monthly reports to the White House about their hiring efforts.
The numbers do not differentiate between veterans and spouses, and officials of several companies said they don't report the numbers separately.
To date, about 130,000 veterans and spouses have been hired, an increase of about 5,000 since August.
Many of the more than 2,000 participating companies are part of larger associations that report the numbers of all of its members together, such as the 100,000 Jobs Mission, a consortium of 62 companies that announced its members hired 9,937 veterans in the last quarter alone.
The International Franchise Association, listing 517 franchisors taking part in the initiative, reported that 7,200 veterans and spouses had been brought in by mid-August, — 4,200 new franchise owners and 3,000 franchise employees.
A wide range of jobs were cited by companies contacted. For example, Honeywell hired more than 1,100 veterans as engineers, production operation supervisors, technicians, sourcing and logistics professionals, and other positions.
"This initiative overall definitely has helped veterans and spouses because of the visibility," said Tom Aiello, a spokesman for Sears.
The retail giant hired 3,443 veterans and spouses between August 2011 and August 2012, primarily in retail services, logistics, information technology and service technicians.
Staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Question from AirForceTimes.com reader">Rick Maze contributed to this report.