Veteran hiring initiatives focus on retention, families

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(Photo: Starbucks Coffee Company)

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“One of my priorities is that veterans not just have a job, but they have choices.”

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates kicked off the “joint convening” of The Muster and the Veteran Jobs Mission with this sentiment in Washington, D.C., on April 14.

More than 300 representatives from the private, public and nonprofit sectors attended the meeting led by Starbucks, the Schultz Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase to discuss veterans employment and retention.

The Muster, a Starbucks initiative, focuses on improving the transition process for veterans, and JPMorgan Chase’s Veteran Jobs Mission has brought 225 member companies together to hire more than 314,000 veterans since 2011.

Retired Army Gen. Ray Odierno, who joined Gates for the first portion of the meeting, said many companies want to pigeonhole veterans into certain types of jobs.

“It’s not just about hiring veterans,” said Odierno, who became a senior adviser to JPMorgan Chase in 2015. “Are you retaining them, and are they in the right spot?”

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