Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates started the ?joint convening? of The Muster and the Veteran Jobs Mission in Washington, D.C. on April 14, saying, ?One of my priorities is that veterans not just have a job, but they have choices.?
The meeting was led by Starbucks, JPMorgan Chase and Schultz Family Foundation. More than 300 representatives from the non-profit, public and private sectors attended it.
Note that The Muster is a Starbucks initiative focusing on making the transition process for veterans more feasible. JPMorgan Chase?s Veteran Jobs Mission has worked hard to bring around 225 member companies together in an attempt to hire more than 314,000 veterans since 2011.
Retired Army Gen. Ray Odierno iterated that many companies only take veterans for certain types of jobs. Odierno joined Gates was the first half of the meeting saying, ?It?s not just about hiring veterans. Are you retaining them, and are they in the right spot??
Odierno became the senior adviser to JPMorgan in 2015. He is of the view that veterans are quick learners and they need support from a company.
?We need the long-term civilian expertise within a company mentoring and helping veterans,? he added.
On the other hand, Gates being on the Starbucks board of directors said that civilians and vets need to work harder to get to know each other. However, he added that it will only work, ?when the CEO makes it clear to people that it?s a priority for the company.?
Senior Vice President of Global Responsibility, Community and Public Policy at Starbucks, John Kelly add that one of the major reasons of the joint convening was to reduce the gap between military personnel and civilians.
?For years and years, civilians go by those military gates and they don?t know what?s behind them,? he added.
According to Kelly, the event has fostered new partnerships and opportunities for networking. He added that the goal of the event is to make sure people stay connected.
Similarly, Director of Military and Veterans Affairs for JPMorgan Chase said that the leaders of the meetings will focus on the opportunities and challenges for the future once they receive detailed feedback of the event.
It should be noted here that JPMorgan Chase commissioned a study with the Center for a New American Security to find companies with veteran retention. Based on the information received, future strategies for veterans will be developed. The study is also working on the economic value of veterans in order to completely understand the contributions made by veterans in workplace.
Senior fellow and counsel at the Center for a New American Security, Phillip Carter said that the target is to publish the results of the study on Veterans Day. ?The very best thing you can give a transitioning veteran is a spouse with a job,? said Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families,? he added.