Last April, in response to a challenge from First Lady Michelle Obama, our Chairman pledged to hire 5,000 veterans and their family members within 5 years. At AT&T, we believe that hiring veterans is not only the right thing to do, but it’s an opportunity for us to hire battle-tested extraordinary leaders and technologists which makes good business sense for our company and our customers. We’ve been hiring thousands of veterans into technician roles, where they install and maintain our network and bring U-verse IPTV into our customers’ homes. Student-veterans join our leadership development programs after they graduate and we welcome veterans into our employee ranks across many areas of our business, from IT to Sales to Finance to Supply Chain.
2013 was the year of setting goals, meeting them early and doubling down on those goals. Which is always a good thing, but it’s especially great when it means that transitioning veterans – our nation’s heroes – are embarking on successful career paths at companies like AT&T.
By last Veteran’s Day in November, we had hired more than 3,600 veteran employees and knew that we needed to do more. And so, we doubled our pledge to hire 10,000 veterans in the five years leading up to 2018. We are proud of our programs and progress but we understand that it takes more than just one company to provide meaningful employment to the more than one million servicemembers who are expected to transition from the Armed Forces in the next five years.
And that’s where AT&T’s commitment to hiring veterans is amplified by our participation and leadership in the 100,000 Jobs Mission. We were among nine other employers that joined JPMorgan Chase in pledging to collectively hire 100,000 veterans by the year 2020. The Mission has since expanded to more than 130 employers and it became clear that the 100,000 milestone would be reached well before 2020. Last month, the 100,0000 Jobs Mission announced that this original goal was met seven years early and is working towards the goal it announced in November to hire 200,000 veterans by the year 2020.
The companies that are members of the Mission are committed to not only hiring veterans, but also helping each other to hire more veterans. This is accomplished through virtual and face-to-face networking, thought leadership and knowledge sharing that transcends the barriers that usually exist between competitors. Training modules, checklists and recruiting ideas are catalogued in the leading practices library and veteran resumes and career profiles are shared and referred between employers through the Veteran Talent Exchange, a groundbreaking technology resource led by AT&T.
No veteran should have to fight for a job at home after they fight for our nation. And as a leading employer, we have thousands of jobs that we want to fill with the very best talent. And so, we invite veterans to search and apply for career opportunities at www.att.jobs/military. We offer specialized tools where transitioning veterans can search for jobs using their military occupational specialty code and ways to directly connect with AT&T veteran employees who can provide job search advice. We’re proud to hear from transitioning service members that they’re interested in careers at AT&T because our support for veterans is crystal clear. Because they’ve seen our company’s name and logo associated with the 100,000 Jobs Mission. And because we’re making commitments, meeting them and not stopping there.