Release Date: Mar 28, 2012Contact: 888-249-NEWS
U.S. Chamber and Capital One Announce Campaign to Hire 500,000 Veterans and Spouses by 2014
Capital One Commits $4.5 Million to Support the Chamber’s ‘Hiring Our Heroes’ Campaign
NEW YORK, NY—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program and Capital One today announced “Hiring 500,000 Heroes,” a national campaign to engage the business community in committing to hire 500,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014. The U.S. Chamber in conjunction with the National Chamber Foundation and Capital One has developed a strategy focused on connecting talented veterans and military spouses with the small business community.
“Hiring a half million veterans in less than three years is an ambitious goal, but we believe that businesses – large and small – want to do their part to give back to the military community that has served and sacrificed so much for our country,” said Lt. Col. (Ret.) Kevin Schmiegel, founder and executive director of the Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes program, and a 20-year Marine veteran. “Capital One has been a leader and a beacon for the rest of the business community. Working together, we are committed to making a difference to address the staggering rates of unemployment facing our newest generation of veterans. It’s not only the right thing to do—it is also a business and economic imperative.”
Capital One’s 3-year, $4.5 million commitment to the National Chamber Foundation and the Hiring our Heroes program, will fund the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign and the efforts of the Chamber to support job fairs and workforce training initiatives across the United States. These new initiatives will focus on connecting service members and military spouses with local small business owners.
“This is a pivotal moment in time,” said John G. Finneran, Jr., General Counsel of Capital One. “After a decade of war, service members who have been deployed around the country and around the world will be returning home and to the workforce. And, at Capital One, we are proud to support their transition and help other companies understand and leverage the unique skills and experience of our veterans. We are committed to doing our part. By working with local chambers of commerce and small business owners, we believe that this is an unprecedented opportunity for us to help these businesses grow and succeed by hiring these talented and highly capable men and women.”
Schmiegel and Finneran made the announcement during the Hiring Our Heroes job fair for veterans and military spouses aboard the USS Intrepid in New York City. Joined by Dr. Jill Biden, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Sandy Winnefeld, with his wife, Mary Winnefeld, and Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer, today’s fair connected more than 1,000 veterans and military spouses with 100 employers. Hiring Our Heroes also held fairs today in Chicago, IL; an event focused on military spouses in Fort Hood, TX; and a global virtual hiring fair with Military.com.
“We understand that a pledge to help 500,000 heroes find jobs is an aggressive goal,” said Schmiegel. “But we are confident that it is also an achievable goal. Working together with key partners like the International Franchise Association, our Veterans Employment Advisory Council (VEAC), which is comprised of more than two dozen of the nation’s largest military-friendly employers, and the millions of small businesses that are part of the Chamber’s federation, we will lead a nationwide grassroots campaign and we are committed to meeting or exceeding our goal.”
In March 2011, the Chamber, in conjunction with the National Chamber Foundation, launched its Hiring Our Heroes program, a nationwide effort to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment. The Chamber started the program to improve public-private sector coordination in local communities, where veterans and their families are returning every day.
Working with its federation of state and local chambers and public, private, and non-profit partners, the Chamber established a network of committed employers, large and small, that understand the value of hiring veterans and military spouses. This includes the 25 companies that comprise the VEAC, which represent 25 million jobs in America and have access to vast networks of millions more small business suppliers, clients, and customers.
Since the launch of the program in March 2011, the Chamber has hosted 130 hiring fairs in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Thus far, the Chamber hiring fairs have connected more than 100,000 veterans and military spouses with more than 5,000 different employers. As a result, the Chamber has helped more than 9,000 veterans and military spouses find employment.
The National Chamber Foundation (NCF), a non-profit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is dedicated to identifying and fostering public debate on emerging critical issues. They provide business and government leaders with insight and resources to address tomorrow's challenges.