In 2011, 11 companies co-founded a coalition called the 100,000 Jobs Mission. The goal was to hire 100,000 U.S. military Veterans between the participating companies, and after succeeding in early 2014, they upped the ante to 300,000 jobs.
Now, after ballooning to over 200 companies in every industry of the U.S. economy, the group has a new name, the Veteran Jobs Mission, and an even loftier goal: to hire one million Veterans.
About the Coalition
"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 opportunities for transitioning service members," said Ross Brown, Director of Military and Veterans Affairs at JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), one of the founders of the coalition.
In addition to finding Veterans employment, the Mission is increasing their focus on career development and retention. The coalition has partnered with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, who found a poor retention rate amongst Veterans in their first position post-service. They found that almost 50% of Veterans surveyed left their first post-military job within one year, and over 65% left within two years.
As a result, the coalition has resources in place to help Veterans better adapt to the workplace "by establishing systemic training, mentoring and other critical onboarding programs, as well as instituting industry-based coalition subgroups to increase collaboration among member companies."
The coalition website is also packed with information like the "Transition Field Guide for Veterans;" a whole "Tips and Resources" section that lists government and employment resources, educational tips and resources for Veterans with disabilities; as well as materials for companies looking to employ Veterans including educational information for human resources departments on hiring practices.
Advantages to Hiring Veterans
Thus far, the coalition has hired over 292,000 Veterans and has been a huge success for all parties involved. As Brown spoke with members of the coalition, they were acknowledging that hiring Veterans was good for business and the bottom line.
Veterans possess unique skillsets and provide valuable qualities to any employer. No matter what sector of industry or type of position, Brown cites being a leader, problem solver and team player as valuable assets that a Veteran brings to the table.
"This generation of transitioned Veterans volunteered in times of conflict, knowing that they would go into combat—that talks to the character of the individual," says Brown, further noting that, "this is a generation that wants to get things done."
Why One Million?
According to Brown, the new goal came about because there's been an average of 200,000 service members who transition out of the military each year.
"In the next 5 years there's going to be over one million Veterans that are going to transition. We decided—[we] didn't put a particular date on it—but let's identify a number out there that's really going to push the coalition, and let's put one million."
Much like the 100,000 and 300,000 figures, one million is not the end goal. "The bottom line," Brown says, is that "we're not satisfied and won't be satisfied until every transitioning Veteran has an opportunity for employment if they want it."