Joining Forces: Blackstone Group, AT&T and More Plan to Increase the Hiring of Veterans
May 3, 2013 1 Comment
Serving your country is a very brave and noble thing to do, but unfortunately many soldiers come home and are unable to find a job. This is a problem with vets of all ages and genders. Many companies are following Michelle Obama’s “Joining Forces Initiative”, which helps being attention to the unique needs of America’s military families and encourages the hiring of veterans in the private sector.
“Military members who served after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, have an unemployment rate of 9.2 percent, compared with 7.6 percent among the rest of the U.S.,” said Tina Tchen, chief of staff to Michelle Obama. “Among veterans ages 18 to 24, the rate is 33 percent.”
KKR & Co., the private equity firm co-founded by Henry Kravis, started “Vets @ Work” in 2011. This program was created to hire more veterans in its portfolio of companies, which currently has over 900,000 people. More big companies have followed suit since then. Stephen Schwarzman, chief executive officer of Blackstone Group LP (BX), said they are going to hire 50,000 U.S. military veterans in its portfolio companies by 2018. At&T announced that they plan to hire 5,000 veterans in the next 5 years as well.
“Jobs aren’t specific to veterans, but veterans have experience that qualifies them for many of our jobs,” said Josh Gelinas, a spokesperon for AT&T in the Carolinas.
“We’re in the business of taking bold risk in almost everything we do,” said Schwarzman. “The only downside is that people might not work out, and that’s a risk you have when you hire anyone.”