November 20, 2019 (Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas) – JPMorgan Chase & Co. is announcing its support for U.S. Military Veterans in Dallas-Fort Worth with a local commitment surpassing $1 million to impact Vets where they live and work.
“We should do all we can to support those who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedom. We want to be the employer of choice for veterans and bank of choice for veteran owned businesses,” said Doug Petno, CEO of Commercial Banking at JPMorgan Chase. “To help accelerate our efforts, we’re excited to partner with great organizations like Bunker Labs, Headstrong, and NPower to provide veterans unique access to training, coaching, and capital to help them succeed.”
The investments will support veterans as they make the transition to civilian life by training them for careers in the IT industry, encouraging veteran entrepreneurs and supporting free local mental health services.
“While each veteran’s experience is unique, we find that employment is a major part of that transition,” says Mark Elliott, Head of Military and Veterans Affairs at JPMorgan Chase. “We’re committed to supporting service members as they shift to civilian life. We know that securing a well-paying job or launching a successful business is critical to this transition.”
Encouraging Veteran Entrepreneurs
Bunker Labs, a national organization working to create the next generation of veteran entrepreneurs, will establish its first Dallas chapter with support from JPMorgan Chase. The launch celebration for the first local Bunker Labs chapter will be held November 20 and will include an entrepreneur forum showcasing veteran and military spouse leaders. The kickoff session will include a fireside chat with Doug Petno and Todd Connor, founder and CEO of Bunker Labs. Breakout sessions will discuss topics including access to capital, branding, digital marketing and advice for establishing a successful, independent business.
“We’re thrilled to be adding a location in Dallas-Fort Worth. DFW is a veteran hub and it’s important for us to go where the people are. Both locations in Austin and San Antonio have been hugely successful, so we have high hopes for the impact this new chapter will be able to make in north Texas,” Connor said.
After World War II, 49.7% of returning veterans owned and operated a business. For Korean War veterans, that number was 40.1%. More than 60 years later, only 5.6 percent of post 9/11 veterans have started their own business. The decrease is not due to lack of interest. Nearly one in four veterans said they were thinking of starting a business in a 2004 study conducted for the Small Business Administration.
“Texas businesses continue to grow year after year, and we need to make sure veterans are able to get a piece of the pie. Bunker Labs is looking forward to developing an inclusive support system for the DFW veteran community and helping vets make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality,” said Adam Davies, one of Bunker’s city leaders for DFW.
JPMorgan Chase started backing Bunker Labs in 2015. Earlier this year, it expanded that support by making a $3 million nationwide commitment to help Bunker establish chapters in all 50 states by 2021.
In addition to the support for Bunker labs, JPMorgan Chase is announcing a local $884,000 investment with NPower, which provides digital skills training and job placement services to veterans. NPower will prepare local veterans with the skills they need for in-demand technology jobs – such as cybersecurity and coding -where most will experience a 70 to 200 percent increase in salary.
The investment is part of a broader $2.3 million, two-year commitment to NPower to provide technology-focused job training in California, New Jersey and DFW.
As of 2015, 53 percent of post-9/11 veterans will experience unemployment, with minority veterans having a 44 percent higher risk of unemployment than non-minority veterans. Meanwhile, digital skills are in high demand with over 700,000 unfilled technology jobs in the U.S.
“The men and women who serve our country through military service make sacrifices and commit themselves to excellence in duty. It is only right that we help make their transition to civilian careers as successful as possible,” says Bertina Ceccarelli, CEO of NPower. “The resilience, creative problem solving abilities and technical acumen demonstrated by veterans make them excellent candidates for high-growth tech careers; we simply provide the skills and connections they will need to secure the jobs of the future.”
This new commitment builds on JPMorgan Chase’s past support for NPower that has placed over 4,000 veterans and young adults in foundational and advanced trainings to develop in-demand skills.
Free Mental Health Support
JPMorgan Chase also is announcing a $250,000 commitment to establish the first DFW office of Headstrong, a health services organization dedicated to providing cost-free mental health support for post-9/11 veterans and their families in the area. Headstrong will work closely with national veteran-service organizations across the country and develop relationships with other local affiliates.
Headstrong’s mission is dedicated to healing the hidden wounds of war by providing cost-free, bureaucracy-free, stigma-free, and confidential treatment to military veterans. Since its founding in 2012, Headstrong has successfully treated over 1,000 clients and provided over 25,000 clinical sessions. Headstrong now delivers cost-free mental health services to over 25 cities in 11 states. The treatment utilizes the three platforms of trauma therapy: stabilization, memory processing, and reintegration. It can include a variety of evidence-based treatments such as EMDR as well as group and couples counseling, alcohol and substance abuse counseling, costing Headstrong approximately $8,000 per client.
“As a combat veteran of two Iraq tours, I understand the issues soldiers can face upon return to a non-combat zone. PTSD can manifest in a large variety of ways and the numbers of those suffering are staggering,” says Headstrong Co-founder and Chairman Zach Iscol, a decorated former Marine officer and Iraq veteran. “The VA estimates we lose 20 veterans a day to suicide and the Department of Defense has reported 30-50 active duty troops take their lives every month. More than 400,000 post-9/11 veterans report symptoms of PTSD. Our program is committed to providing free access to world-class clinicians to ensure effective individual treatment and long-term success. It is an ambitious goal, but with consistent support and growth strategy, an achievable one.”
About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase has a long-standing commitment to facilitating post-service success for veterans and their families through meaningful employment opportunities, career development and access to small business resources and other critical support services. The firm has hired more than 15,000 veterans since 2011 – more than 1,800 of which have been hired in Texas. To learn more about JPMorgan Chase in DFW, go to www.jpmorganchase.com/dfw.
About Bunker Labs
Bunker Labs - a 501(c)(3) non-profit – is a national network of veteran entrepreneurs dedicated to helping new veteran entrepreneurs and military spouses start their own business. We are committed to seeing that every entrepreneur in the veteran community has the network, tools, and resources they need to start their own business. 25% of transitioning service members want to start a business and they need places inside their community where they can connect with the people, resources, and support they need to start and grow their businesses. To learn more: https://bunkerlabs.org.
NPower is a national nonprofit that offers free tech training and is focused on enhancing the economic situations of veterans and young adults from underserved communities by placing them in quality tech jobs. Students who graduate from their six-month program earn industry-recognized certifications and the same knowledge as an IT professional with one to two years of experience. NPower also places students in paid internships with corporate and nonprofit organizations through which most graduates get a full-time job. The nonprofit is boosting economic growth not only at the individual level but also at the national level. It is improving the American labor economy and leading the shift towards tech labor. To learn more about NPower, visit www.npower.org.
Headstrong is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing cost free, stigma free, and bureaucracy free mental healthcare to military veterans and their families. Headstrong, founded in 2012, provides confidential, cost-free, and frictionless mental health care treatment for military veterans and their families that works. In partnership with Weill Cornell Medicine, one of the nation’s leading mental health care centers, Headstrong developed an effective, individually tailored and comprehensive treatment program for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and related military trauma. Since 2012, Headstrong has demonstrated measurable success with clients experiencing improved mood, improved sleep, improved family relationships, and reduced nightmares, reduced substance abuse, and reduced suicidality. For more information about Headstrong and to donate to the cause, please visit www.getheadstrong.org .
Greg Hassell, Greg.Hassell@chase.com