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JPMorgan to Invest $1M in Veteran Education

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JPMorgan Chase announced on Tuesday that it’s investing $1 million in education grants for veterans. Funds have been awarded to Florida State College at Jacksonville, University of South Florida, The University of Texas at Arlington and San Diego State University, with an additional round of recipients to be announced later this year.

“Education is a path to sustainable employment as well as family and financial stability,” Maureen Casey, director of military and veterans affairs for JPMorgan, said in a statement. “By supporting educational opportunities for veterans and their families, we will cultivate and empower the next greatest generation.”

The funds are part of JPMorgan’s larger initiative to provide education for veterans, which includes the Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families, a national center co-founded by JPMorgan that focuses on social, economic, education and policy issues that affect veterans and their families post-service; the Veterans Career Transition program, a tuition-free program that helps post-9/11 veterans and spouses transition to civilian life; and the 100,000 Jobs Mission, a coalition of 10 companies that committed in 2011 to hiring 100,000 veterans by 2020. The coalition, now numbering 131 companies, has since met that goal and doubled it to pledge to hire 200,000 veterans by 2020.

Schools can use the funds for programs that “that impact and improve veteran performance, retention and graduation rates in higher education,” Shannon O’Reilly, communications director for military and veterans affairs at JPMorgan Chase, told ThinkAdvisor in an email. Funds will be given to schools with programs to help student veterans in three areas: orientation and bridge programs, student services and classroom experience.

Casey testified before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs on Tuesday to share ways JPMorgan has helped veterans find employment after leaving the military.

“When JPMorgan Chase launched our program in 2011, the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans had been at least two percentage points higher than the national average for four consecutive years. While that number has improved, it is estimated that approximately 1 million servicemembers will transition out of the military in the next several years as our armed services face an imminent downsizing of the force,” she said, according to testimony published by the committee.

Casey said that one of the biggest challenges to hiring veterans is the “knowledge gap” between military and civilian culture. “For example, most servicemembers who have spent their entire careers in the military have had their career path planned for them.  Many haven’t had to network with their peers or even write a resume for the purpose of finding a job.  In fact, teamwork is so ingrained in the military ethos that servicemembers rarely have an opportunity to market themselves — always putting the team first.  As a result, transitioning veterans often have a hard time in job interviews translating their military experience in ways that civilians can easily understand.”

JPMorgan has a team of recruiters, many of whom are former servicemembers themselves, dedicated to hiring military veterans. These recruiters help translate job applicants’ military experience into civilian jobs, and offer feedback on resumes and advice for interviews.

Check out Honoring Advisors Who Serve(d): Veterans Day, 2013 on ThinkAdvisor.