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Veteran Jobs Mission: New Name, New Goal for Hiring One Million U.S. Military Veterans

Coalition, co-founded by JPMorgan Chase, has hired nearly 300,000 Veterans since 2011 and pledges to increase focus on performance and career development of Veterans

New York – November 2, 2015 – The 100,000 Jobs Mission today announced a new goal and name for the coalition of companies committed to employing U.S. military Veterans. Beginning today, the coalition will be renamed the Veteran Jobs Mission and commit itself to collectively hiring a total of one million military Veterans. This new commitment reflects the coalition’s longstanding commitment to support Veterans and their families.

Since its founding in 2011 by 11 corporations, the newly-renamed Veteran Jobs Mission has grown to over 200 companies that have together – as of September 30, 2015 – hired nearly 300,000 Veterans. The coalition reached its original goal of hiring 100,000 Veterans in early 2014 and increased its goal to 300,000 in early 2015. Representing almost every industry in the U.S. economy, the coalition’s efforts have contributed to the sharp decline in the unemployment rate for post 9/11 Veterans, from just over 12 percent in 2011 to 5 percent as of September 2015.

“I am thrilled that the Veteran Jobs Mission is raising the bar for companies across the country by pledging to hire one million veterans and military spouses,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “This is an incredible commitment - and I know that these companies aren't doing it just because it's the right thing to do for our country. They're doing it because it's the right thing to do for their bottom line. Our veterans and military spouses are some of the most dynamic, dedicated, and highly skilled individuals in America - and I want to thank the Veteran Jobs Mission for all they're doing to help these men and women continue to serve this nation in the years and decades ahead.”

“I'm incredibly grateful to the business community for its continued efforts to support programs that recruit, train, and retain our transitioning service members and Veterans,” said Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson. “The private sector has recognized the wealth of values and skills our brave men and women have brought to their organizations, and, through commitments like these, they are able to continue to tap into this talent. It is not only for the good of their businesses, however; it is for the good of our service members and for the good of the nation.”

The unemployment rate for the youngest groups of post 9/11 Veterans remains high at 14.9 percent (ages 20-24) and 6.9 percent (ages 25-29) as of September 2015. Hispanic and African-American post 9/11 Veterans also continue to experience higher than average unemployment rates.

“The new name and goal for the Veteran Jobs Mission is reflective of its success over the past several years as well as a pledge to continue providing meaningful job opportunities for transitioning servicemembers,” said Ross Brown, Director of Military and Veterans Affairs, JPMorgan Chase & Co., a founding company of the Veteran Jobs Mission. “Our youngest Veterans continue to face challenges finding work, so there is much more the Veteran Jobs Mission can do to tackle this problem. With more than 200,000 servicemembers transitioning from active duty each year, employers must redouble efforts to make Veterans’ transitions to civilian careers smoother.”

Addressing Veteran Employment and Retention

In addition to a new commitment of hiring a total of one million Veterans, the Veteran Jobs Mission will increase its focus on the engagement and career development of Veterans in the private sector. This includes helping Veterans better adapt to the workplace by establishing training, mentoring and other critical onboarding programs.

A recent study from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University and VetAdvisor revealed an association between Veteran job tenure and alignment with desired career fields. Veterans often have difficulty in the first two years post-service matching their capabilities, career aspirations and geographic location with job opportunities. Further, a 2014 report from the RAND Corporation that performed qualitative interviews with members of the Veteran Jobs Mission found that Veterans were eager for more career development and support programs.

To support the Veteran Jobs Mission’s effort to address this issue, the Center for a New American Security will conduct additional research on performance, career development and retention to be released in 2016.

“Tremendous work has been done by the Veteran Jobs Mission and others to change the way Veterans are perceived by employers,” said Phillip Carter, Senior Fellow and Counsel, Center for a New American Security. “Now, employers want to better understand how Veterans perform in the workplace and what steps can be taken to help them further excel. Our research will look closely at the performance, career development and retention of Veterans in the private sector, and the best practices Veterans and employers can leverage to achieve the best possible outcomes for Veterans, companies and the nation as a whole.”

The coalition recently instituted industry-focused subgroups to increase collaboration and best practices among member companies. Some coalition companies do have Veterans-focused employee resource groups and mentoring programs to aid retention and development efforts.

Resources from the Veteran Job Mission

As the Veteran Jobs Mission has evolved, the coalition has aggregated and developed useful tips and resources for Veterans seeking to attain the education and skills needed to find and secure meaningful post-separation employment. The coalition has also developed resources to educate corporate human resources professionals on how to optimize their Veterans hiring practices.

A few of the many resources available to companies that are part of the Veteran Job Mission include:

New Coalition Members

Each month, additional U.S. businesses – spanning different geographies and industry sectors – are joining the Veteran Jobs Mission. To help hire one million Veterans, recent additions to the coalition include PepsiCo, JLL, Southwest Airlines, MGM Resorts International and Stanley Black and Decker.

“Southwest Airlines has a huge Heart for our Military. We are committed to hiring, training, and retaining our Veterans, and it is important to become a member of a coalition of employers who share the same commitment. We are excited about becoming a member of the Veteran Jobs Mission and having the opportunity to collaborate and share best practices with hundreds of other companies who have the same passion and commitment for hiring Veterans,” said Tina Clanton, Military and Veteran Liaison for Southwest Airlines. “Military Veterans are highly trained and skilled men and women who uphold the same values we look for in a Southwest Employee: a Warrior Spirit, Servant’s Heart and a Fun-LUVing attitude. Hiring them is good for our company and for our country. Our colors may be blue, red, and yellow, but our support is for the red, white, and blue.”

“Veterans have long been a valuable part of MGM Resorts International’s workforce,” said Ondra Berry, senior vice president of talent management and organizational performance for MGM Resorts, and a brigadier general in the Nevada Air National Guard. “We’re proud to be a member of the Veteran Jobs Mission coalition so that we can continue to ensure that there are good civilian careers for the men and women who selflessly serve our country.”

“Stanley Black & Decker realized instantly the value of the Veteran Jobs Mission,” said Ralph Doran, Director of Talent Management for Stanley Black & Decker. “The irony of the Mission is that our Veterans are some of the most talented individuals you will ever meet. Their work ethic, integrity and selfless dedication to the success of their team make them a natural fit for our company values. But even more impressive is the leadership development they receive, their ability to lead change at a fast pace and their agility to change directives as fast as the markets. While Veteran resumes may not read like the natural industry progressions we see in other talent pools, their results clearly reflect everything we are looking for. The Mission is a safe harbor for us to learn, refine and evaluate our strategies as they relate to Veteran Engagement. It isn’t just about targeting and hiring, but aiding in the transition and leveraging Veteran Talent to grow our organization with the right talent for competing in the marketplace.”

About the Veteran Jobs Mission

Launched in 2011 as the 100,000 Jobs Mission, the Veteran Jobs Mission brings together companies committed to hiring U.S. military Veterans. Eleven co-founders established the coalition – AT&T, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Cushman & Wakefield Inc., EMC Corporation, Iron Mountain Incorporated, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Modis, NCR Corporation, Universal Health Services, Inc., and Verizon Communications Inc.

Since then, more than 200 companies have joined and altogether they have hired nearly 300,000 U.S. military Veterans, as of October 2015. Members also regularly meet to share best practices to help new companies institute their hiring programs. Visit jobsmission.com

For more information, please contact:
Tim Keefe – tim.keefe@chase.com