By Debbie Gregory.
Respectable careers, complete with living wages, job satisfaction and room for upward advancement are necessary for financial stability and a healthy family life. These careers are getting harder to obtain in today’s economy. Historically, great careers have been attained through earning advanced degrees and completing college programs. In the past, many Veterans have found respectable employment hard to come by. Increases in the GI Bill and other Veteran education benefits were designed to better equip Veterans with the abilities that civilian employers would recognize and find desirable. However, many Veterans still struggle to transition from military careers to careers that provide all of the attributes of respectable employment.
Back in 2011, the global financial services firm, JPMorgan Chase & Co, partnered with 10 other mega-employers to create the 100,000 Jobs Mission. The mission was a huge success. The pledge was to hire 100,000 Veterans within 10 years. This mission was completed in nearly a quarter of that time, with 117,439 Veterans hired before December 31, 2013. The coalition of companies has doubled its commitment, vowing to hire at total of 200,000 by 2020.
Also in 2011, JP Morgan Chase and Syracuse University co-founded the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). IVMF is the first higher education center that focuses on social, economic, education and policy issues that Veterans and their families face when transitioning out of the service.
By deliberately immersing themselves in Veteran culture, JP Morgan Chase has come to understand the specific difficulties that Veterans face when seeking respectable employment. By hiring Veterans and inquiring directly from the source, JP Morgan Chase has gained a greater knowledge than most other employers about what struggles Veterans experience when transitioning out of the military and into academic and professional careers.
In late January, based on their gained knowledge, JPMorgan Chase & Co invested $1 million in education programs for Veteran college students. The money will be used in support of grants to proven Veteran-friendly schools that include: San Diego State University, University of South Florida, the University of Texas at Arlington, and Florida State College at Jacksonville. Veteran schools will use the grants to fund college programs and policies geared specifically towards the success of Veteran students. Among the expenditures that the grants will be used for are Veteran orientations, Veteran services programs, bridge programs, and policies that benefit Veteran student retention and graduation rates, or otherwise enrich Veteran students’ classroom experiences.
While Military Connection is not affiliated with JPMorgan, it is only fitting to recognize employers that go above and beyond in helping Veterans succeed. JP Morgan Chase not only hires Veterans, but is creating ways for Veterans to succeed in any field of study or line of work that they desire. This is an employer who truly appears to understand the value of military Veterans as an economic resource. If more employers acted as JPMorgan does, perhaps Veteran unemployment might be a thing of the past. And perhaps Veterans would no longer struggle in their pursuit of attaining respectable careers, once they’re out of uniform.