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5 Fortune 500 companies transforming the job market for veterans

November 11, 2014, 7:27 PM UTC
Job Fair Held For Veterans At New York's Lexington Avenue Armory
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: A veteran speaks to a job recruiter at a 'Hiring our Heroes' Job Fair on March 27, 2014 in New York City. The jobs fair, which was put together by the New York National Guard and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, expected over 600 veterans to attend. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Photograph by Andrew Burton — Getty Images

U.S. citizens are honoring the sacrifice and dedication of the nation’s servicemen and women Tuesday. But while Veterans Day is a good time to reflect on the dedication of our soldiers, many companies’ dedication to U.S. military workers goes well beyond one day a year.

Hundreds of companies have committed to hiring veterans, and many other companies have gone above and beyond to establish platforms and education initiatives to make sure veterans succeed after their military careers end.

Here are five Fortune 500 companies with innovative approaches to bringing more military veterans into the private sector.

1. JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan, along with 10 other companies, established the 100,000 Jobs Mission in 2011 with the goal of collectively hiring 100,000 veterans by 2020. More than 133 companies are now part of the collective and have already hired over 117,000 vets. The group has since expanded its goal to hire a total of 200,000 former vets.

Not only has JPMorgan (JPM) committed to hiring former military professions, it has also set up programs to train these workers across their businesses. The corporate investment bank established an eight-week veteran internship program, at the end of which the bank hired all 18 veteran interns. The company sees training programs like this becoming a leading practice in their recruitment of U.S. vets.

2. Disney

Disney (DIS) launched its “Heroes Work Here” program in March 2012 with the stated goal of hiring at least 1,000 former service workers by 2015. The company exceeded that goal in the first year and expanded its hiring to a total of 2,000 veterans by next year.

The initiative doesn’t end at their office doors. Disney also set up a public awareness campaign to encourage other companies to prioritize veteran hiring. To equip these organizations, Disney ran a free day-long workshop at Disney World called the Veterans Institute to train the companies in how to build effective veteran-hiring programs.

3. Starbucks

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is a long-time veterans’ advocate and recently released his new book titled “For Love of Country,” which chronicles former servicemen and women’s contributions both on and off the battlefield.

Schultz’s dedication extends into the company’s coffee shops and corporate headquarters. Starbucks is committed to hiring at least 10,000 military veterans and active-duty spouses by 2018. The company also established an internal development network that will match veterans and military spouses with the right roles within the organization.

4. Capital One Financial

Capital One (COF) partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to launch a national campaign called “Hiring 500,000 Heroes.” The financial services firm donated $4.5 million to fund the initiative, which is focused on connecting service members and military spouses with local small businesses. The goal is to match returning soldiers with high-quality jobs in local communities.

Capital One is helping make this happen in partnership with the Veteran Staffing Network, which will provide a broad array of services to veterans and businesses to ensure job matches and retention rates are ideal for both groups.

5. Booz Allen Hamilton

Booz Allen’s (BAH) dedication to the U.S. military stretches back to World War II and continues today with its consultation services to government departments, including defense and intelligence. It’s no surprise that the company has a large number of former military workers — nearly a third of its staff has a military background — but its commitment to service workers goes above and beyond. Booz Allen offers a disability accommodation program, military leave and return policies for reserve soldiers and targeted training programs to translate military skills into functional roles at the company.

Booz Allen also has specialized programs for military spouses that provide flexible work schedules and the ability to work remotely, which is especially important for employees that may have to move every few years. The consultant firm runs support groups for wives and husbands of service workers and helped launch the MilSpouse online mentoring program, earning accolades from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.