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Companies pledge to hire veterans

Published: Monday, Nov. 11 2013 8:00 a.m. MST

Sgt. Paul Anthony of the Army Reserves attends the "Hiring Our Heroes" Job Fair at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City in this Wednesday, April 17, 2013, file photo.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

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As Veteran's Day approaches on Monday, Nov. 11, companies across America are pledging to hire more military veterans.

Julian Barnes at the Wall Street Journal reports a group of 123 companies called the 100,000 Jobs Mission upped its pledge of hiring 100,000 veterans by 2020 to 200,000 by the same year. Barnes said the companies in the group have already hired more than 92,000 veterans.

“There is no other group that deserves our support more than our veterans,” said Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, which Barnes said is one of the program's most active members.

According to Barnes, Dimon and other executives from companies in the group met with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last week to "discuss ways the Pentagon could better work with private industry and aid service members transitioning to civilian life."

In addition to the 123 companies involved in the 100,000 Jobs Mission, Starbucks and AT&T announced Wednesday they each plan to hire at least 10,000 veterans each over the next five years. And Wal-Mart pledged earlier this year to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years.

A story by Gary Peterson and Mark Emmons at the San Jose Mercury News reported on a program called Vets in Tech. Started by veteran Katherine Webster, Vets in Tech is "a grass-roots project with the goal of demystifying the high-tech world for veterans interested in getting their boots in the door of Silicon Valley and beyond," wrote Peterson and Emmons.

The program already has the backing of Craig Newmark of Craigslist Inc. and tech companies Cisco, HP, Facebook and Intuit, and is currently expanding to other markets around the country.

"We're creating an ecosystem to help them get the skills they need, give them confidence, the ability to speak corporate," said Chris Galy, director of talent acquisition for Intuit, to Mercury News. "We want to do everything possible to make them more employable. We're trying to provide them with a Silicon Valley mindset."

Currently, the unemployment rate for veterans is around 6.5 percent, compared to a rate of 7.2 percent for all Americans, according to Pamela M. Prah at USA Today. But she also said unemployment is "stubbornly" high among young veterans, sitting at 19.5 percent for veterans aged 18-24. While lower than it was in 2011 — when it reached 30 percent — the number is higher than the unemployment rate of 14.3 percent for young people who didn't serve in the military.

Email: dmerling@deseretnews.com

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