Google has some new job search tools, especially for military veterans and their families who are looking for work.
The new features, available now, let military service members and their families search "Jobs for Veterans" and then enter specific military job codes (MOS, AFSC, NEC, etc.) to find civilian jobs with skills similar to those they used in the military.
"We hope to use our technology to help veterans understand the full range of opportunities open to them across many different fields. Right now those opportunities are getting lost in translation," Matthew Hudson, a program manager for Google Cloud who served as an U.S. Air Force civil engineer, said in a blog post announcing the feature.
The initiative is part of Google's five-year, $1 billion commitment to help offset how technology is rapidly changing the workplace and eliminating jobs here in the U.S. and globally. The "Jobs for Veterans" focus could also score some good public relations points at a time when President Donald Trump is calling the search engine "rigged" because he says its results come back with too many stories critical of him and his administration.
And helping veterans find better jobs will likely also be good for Google's business, as it seeks to attract even more jobs-related advertising for its overall Google for Jobs initiative, launched a year ago.
A particular problem for veterans seeking to transition to civilian work is the lack of a "common language" that matches their military experience with civilian jobs, Hudson said. "As a result, 1 in 3 veterans – of the roughly 250,000 servicemembers who transition out of the military each year – end up taking jobs well below their skill level."
Job seekers can find out, too, if a business is veteran-owned in a new Google My Business feature, which shows up on Google Maps and Search mobile listings.
Google is also making the veterans job search function available to other employers and job boards as part of its Clouds Jobs API, already in use by companies such as FedEx, Encompass Health and Siemens, with job search services such as CareerBuilder already using them.
To help veterans interested in learning digital skills, Google is also giving a $2.5 million grant to the United Service Organizations (USO) to provide IT training and career guidance. Specifically, the grant will allow the USO to add training for the Google IT Support Professional Certificate into its programs.
"Google is committed to creating opportunities for everyone, and with today’s announcements, we hope our technology can help make transitioning to civilian life a little bit easier," Hudson said.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.