“As a business leader, or as a business, recognize that they [veterans] have unique skills and unique value to add not only to our society but back into your business.” – Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company.
Following the recent election, the national conversation on jobs has been focused mostly on manufacturing workers and finding ways to save jobs and bring them back to the U.S., but there is one group that has been consistently left behind in the workforce — veterans.
In 2014, there were more than 2.5 million post-9/11 veterans in the U.S. and their unemployment rate was above the national average. Over the next few years, more than one million servicemen and women will be transitioning out of the military. The irony is that there are currently 5.5 million jobs available in this country that companies can’t fill.
“This is a time that as business leaders examine their level of job openings and job postings, I would hope that they would recognize that the job description may not fit exactly to the veteran’s core experience but … that the veteran coming into civilian life has the qualities, skills base and experience to do the job,” says Schultz.
To set an example, Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase & Co., and Schultz have joined forces to tackle this issue.
Starbucks has committed itself to hire 10,000 veterans by the end of 2018, and JP Morgan Chase & Co. has hired 7,800 veterans and is a founding member of the 100,000 Jobs Mission.
“Our national commitment must be to make sure that every veteran, every military spouse, has the opportunity to build a meaningful career,” says Dimon.
Note: This article was originally published on April 17, 2017.