With Veterans Day coming this Sunday, Edward Jones announced that it had hired 300 military veterans as financial advisors so far in 2012. These 300 new positions add to the roughly 1,300 veterans that Edward Jones has already employed in an advisory role.
Headquartered in St. Louis, the financial services firm on Friday released a video that encourages military veterans to seek employment opportunities at Edward Jones:
"Hiring military veterans is a part of the Edward Jones culture and heritage and not simply viewed as a corporate initiative," said Jim Weddle, managing partner of Edward Jones, in a statement. "It's no secret that the labor force and overall economic climate is making it difficult for veterans to successfully find civilian employment opportunities. The message we want to send is that financial services is a viable option that not only aligns with, but greatly complements, a military veteran's skill set."
In May, Edward Jones launched FORCES, a nationwide program that provides training and a compensation package designed for veterans who want to transfer to a civilian career. The program is structured to allow eligible veterans to seek G.I. Bill benefits if they desire, but it is not mandatory for program participation.
The amount of the benefit available is determined by the Veterans Administration and is paid directly to the VA during the veteran’s initial six months of employment and training with Edward Jones. Edward Jones does not receive any direct or indirect benefit from the veteran who receives a GI Bill benefit.
Veterans interested in learning more about the Edward Jones can find more on the Edward Jones career recruitment site. Veterans looking to check on their entitlement may phone the VA's toll-free number, 1.888.442.4551, or visit its website.
Coinciding with Veterans Day on Nov. 11, the first FORCES class will complete 26 weeks of intensive training and graduate to become Edward Jones financial advisors. The new advisors include: Nicole Darty of Sammamish, Wash., who served in the U.S. Army as an animal care technician stationed in Alaska and left the service to obtain a degree in finance. Graduating during the peak of the financial crisis, she found limited job opportunities, and eventually became an Edward Jones branch office assistant. Darty was the first veteran to join the FORCES program.
Rob Smith of Mandeville, La.: After more than 20 years of service with deployments and operations in more than 30 countries, Smith retired from the U.S. Marine Corp. as a senior counterintellgence agent. After meeting a fellow Marine turned Edward Jones financial advisor, Smith was attracted to the FORCES program by the opportunity to run his own business.
Valerie Wallis of Fort Worth, Texas: Wallis served in the U.S. Army for six years and is now in the Army Reserves. Her service spanned several positions and countries, including Iraq and Korea. Coming to the FORCES program with both an entrepreneurship bachelor's degree and an MBA, Wallis was attracted to Edward Jones’ commitment to hire veterans and the opportunity to run her own business.
Edward Jones ranked No. 5 on Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For 2012," the 13th time it has been included on the list.
Read Honoring Advisors Who Serve(d): July 4, 2012, Slideshow at AdvisorOne.