Panther CEO to testify on veteran unemployment

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Panther Racing CEO John Barnes is slated to testify in front of a U.S. House of Representatives committee as part of a hearing on veteran unemployment.

Barnes, whose IZOD IndyCar Series team is backed by the National Guard, will speak this morning before the House’s Committee on Veterans Affairs about a current Panther program called “Operation: Hire Our Guard” that educates business leaders about the benefits of hiring Guard soldiers.

“We have a responsibility to do everything we can to support our National Guard, and that means ensuring those who have served in uniform have the opportunity to provide for themselves and their family when they get home,” Barnes said in a statement.

Battling the high unemployment rate amongst veterans has been a key element of Panther’s partnership with the Guard. On race mornings, the team hosts local business and military leaders to explain the importance of hiring veterans – an initiative that began in the 2009 season.

According to the team, as many as 4,300 Guard soldiers have been employed through its “Operation: Hire Our Guard” program based on “a conservative approach.”

Barnes’ hearing can be seen online starting approximately at 10 a.m. ET via a webcast at veterans.house.gov. Once you’re there, be sure to mouse over the “Hearings” tab and then click “113th Congress Hearings” in the drop-down menu.