You've been getting a lot of press lately. President Obama has been talking about you. Congress has held hearings about you. Companies have made pledges to you. Everybody and their brother is talking about helping you — the veteran — get a job.
In the past year, the federal government has rolled out a slew of incentives for businesses to hire unemployed veterans, and massive companies from Avis to Verizon have joined the 100,000 Jobs Mission, which has a goal of hiring 100,000 veterans by 2020.
JPMorgan Chase was one of the founders of the 100,000 Jobs Mission and launched a company-spanning effort about a year and a half ago to make JPMorgan Chase more vet-friendly, says Nate Herman, chief administrative officer for military and veterans affairs. Herman says the firm has made it a point to hire returning vets since World War I, but now the pressure is on — the new push is partly the result of all the recent publicity surrounding the issue and partly to help make up for a misstep last year, when the company was sued for violating the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act by putting some service members' homes in foreclosure.
JPMorgan Chase now has six or seven program managers focused exclusively on the military and veteran community, including everything from hiring and education to philanthropy, Herman says.
In the financial services industry, in particular, hiring veterans has come into fashion. Ten of the top 40 companies on our list this year specialize in financial services, including our top-scoring company, USAA. Five major international banks, two of which made it onto our list — Bank of America and Citi — have signed on to Veterans on Wall Street, an initiative to recognize that military skills such as quick thinking and networking translate exceptionally well to the high-speed financial world.
Smaller companies are rolling out the red carpet for vets as well. Intuitive Research and Technology Corp. and Kearney & Co., each of which has fewer than 600 employees, have instituted vet-friendly programs ranging from special orientation for former service members to hiring programs for their spouses. Both companies are also among Federal Times' top 250 General Services Administration Contractors.