CBA, Member Banks Honor Veterans and their Families Banks Employing Veterans, Creating Opportunities for Economic Advancement

November 7, 2013

CBA, Member Banks Honor Veterans and their Families
Banks Employing Veterans, Creating Opportunities for Economic Advancement

Washington, D.C. (November 7, 2013) – In honor of the service and sacrifice our nation’s active duty service members, veterans and their families, the retail banking industry has committed to a number of programs to help them as they continue their missions or transition to civilian life. These programs include job training and hiring, small business funding, affordable housing, and financial education. A number of CBA’s retail bank members have also partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to launch a private sector national Veterans Employment Advisory Council to promote veteran employment and best practices.

“Veterans, active-duty military, and their families have committed themselves to serving a nation we all love. Without their commitment to duty, the opportunities that we have here at home would be for not. We are proud of the many initiatives our member banks have undertaken to support these brave individuals and their families as they have supported us,” said Richard Hunt, president and CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association.

In keeping with the theme of CBA LIVE 2014 – “Red, White, and Banking,” this year’s Joe Belew Award will go to CBA’s member bank with the most innovative program focused on helping our service members, veterans and their families.  

A few of the programs offered by CBA member banks to our nation’s veterans and their families:

Bank of America
Bank of America is committed to connecting service members and veterans to the support they need to transition back into civilian life. That includes funding for charitable organizations, offering banking services and financial education for military families, recruiting and hiring veterans, and donating homes to returning service members. In 2012, Bank of America announced plans to double the number of military veteran hires to 1,000 that year, with opportunities in IT and operations, military assistance, consumer banking and wealth management. The bank at that time had 6,000 veterans, reservists and active-duty service members among its 282,000 employees.

BMO Harris
BMO Harris Bank is the presenting sponsor of a Heartland Habitat for Humanity, initiative to engage and serve local veterans' community, including active military, veterans, and Gold Star families. Engagement includes affordable housing and home preservation, volunteer opportunities, homeowner education, celebration of Veterans, and identification of veterans needing assistance.

Capital One Financial Corporation
Capital One has a number of programs to assist veterans and their families. Earlier this year, they announced a $425,000 partnership with Easter Seals Serving DC | MD | VA—an organization providing support services for individuals with disabilities and special needs—to help veterans, wounded warriors and their spouses to transition to civilian life and navigate meaningful career paths. The partnership is part of a national workforce development initiative by Capital One, focused on helping to match job seekers—including returning veterans—with higher quality jobs and to train and retrain workers to compete for jobs based on local community demand.

In addition, to help women veteran entrepreneurs fuel the growth of their small businesses and create new jobs for veterans and civilians across the country, Capital One Financial Corporation has committed $800,000 to partner with Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence to develop the Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corps (WVEC). This new training and mentorship program is designed to help established women small business owners who are veterans or spouses/domestic partners of veterans conquer daily business challenges and plan ahead for future growth and success.

Citi
As part of its firm-wide Citi Salutes initiative, Citi connects veteran consumers and job-seekers with access to Citi’s entire range of specialized programs and services such as the Citi Disabled Veterans Mortgage Relief Program and CredAbility ReConnect, which offers free customized online financial education and over-the-phone financial counseling. Citi employs more than 2,000 self-identified veterans across its businesses, co-founded Veterans on Wall Street, and was one of the first financial services companies to launch an official Military Veterans Network for employees. This year, Citi and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University launched the Citi Salutes: Realizing Your Dream Business Competition, a call for veterans who are established or aspiring entrepreneurs to submit formal small business plans in hopes of receiving a share of $130,000 in available seed funding.  

Charles Schwab
The Charles Schwab Corporation has received new recognition for its military-friendly recruiting practices and workplace, as one of the "Best of the Best Top Veteran-Friendly Companies" in the August issue of U.S. Veterans Magazine. This is the second consecutive year that Schwab has received this award. This recognition follows on the heels of Military Times Edge magazine's naming Schwab to its list of Best for Vets 2013, for the fourth consecutive year and G.I. Jobs magazine naming Schwab to the 2013 Top Military Friendly Employer® list. Among the many Schwab Employee Resource Groups is the Military Veterans Network (MVN), which provides a support network for veterans plus their family and friends at Schwab. Members of MVN help increase awareness through internal communications, drive membership growth and sponsor regional events.

Many Schwab employees also volunteer or participate in fund-raising events for nonprofit organizations that help veterans and their families. In Phoenix, employees have helped Packages From Home, a group which assembles care packages for U.S. military troops stationed abroad. In Chicago, employees also have run the Chicago Marathon to raise money for Salute, Inc., which helps injured veterans.

Discover Financial Services
Discover has created a work-at-home jobs program for military personnel. Discover's work-at-home program provides training, resources and job opportunities for new employees seeking careers within the financial services industry. In addition to training, Discover supplies each new employee with the proper equipment and installation support to ensure a successful working environment at home. The new employees' work will be coordinated out of Discover's New Castle, Delaware call center. Recruitment efforts for the new program focus on military personnel and their family members from the Dover Air Force Base and those associated with the base in the surrounding area.

Discover's program addresses a need to connect military personnel with skilled, flexible and local employment opportunities while also addressing Discover's growing business needs. Discover Bank is reviewing plans to extend the program to other military bases as it provides veterans with the flexibility in where and how they work.

GE Capital
GE Capital has a number of Affinity Networks focused on promoting diversity in the workplace. The GE Veterans Network is a community of employees that provides support for the recruitment, transition and career development of military veterans at GE.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Employment

  • In 2011, JPMorgan Chase and 10 other companies launched the 100,000 Jobs Mission with the goal to collectively hire 100,000 veterans by 2020. In less than three years, the coalition has hired 92,869 veterans and has grown to 123 companies that represent almost every industry in the American economy. Veterans and employers can learn more by visiting, JobsMission.com.
  • JPMorgan Chase established a military recruiting team that has helped hire more than 6,000 veterans since 2011. Most of the members of the military recruiting team are veterans or are still in the Guard or Reserve and are helping military job seekers remove the obstacles they face in translating military skills into corporate jobs.
  • The company recently expanded its veteran employment initiatives to military spouses and was inducted into the Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP).

Military and Veteran Homeownership

  • Chase pledged to award 1,000 mortgage-free homes to military families by 2016.  Since 2011, Chase has awarded more than 600 mortgage-free homes, amounting to more than $62 million, to military families with its non-profit partners.  Chase refurbishes each home to meet the unique need of the veteran.
  • The company partners with Building Homes for Heroes, Dallas Neighborhood Homes, Military Warrior Support Foundation and Operation Homefront on its home awards program.  Veterans can apply each non-profit’s website.

Education

  • JPMorgan Chase co-founded Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families, the first national center in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service.
  • As part of that partnership, IVMF and JPMorgan Chase launched the Veterans Career Transition program (VCTP), a tuition-free online program for post-9/11 veterans and paid for in its entirety by a grant from JPMorgan Chase. The online program offers four tracks: technology, human resources, professional studies and independent study.  Veterans can apply online here.

Regions Bank
Regions Bank has introduced the Regions Military and Veterans Pledge in conjunction with the launch of a designated resource center on the bank's web site and dedicated toll-free customer service telephone number for bank customers who are military service members or veterans. Located at regions.com/military, the pledge and resource center outline benefits for those who serve, or have served, our country.

State Farm Bank
State Farm continues to reach out to military veterans through its Agency Recruiting campaign focused on servicemen and women transitioning to civilian life. State Farm has established a network of military ambassadors and recruiting specialists, who visit bases to help veterans who are transitioning to civilian life, write resumes and conduct mock interviews and create LinkedIn profiles. State Farm is spreading the word about these outreach efforts via social media.

SunTrust Bank
SunTrust Banks, Inc. has announced the renewal of its partnership and $100,000 investment in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program.  Last year, the company began its association with the nationwide initiative that helps veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment through the Chamber’s network of state and local affiliates and other strategic partners from the public, private, and non-profit sectors.  

SunTrust’s donation will help fund hiring fairs throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.  Since the program's launch in March 2011, Hiring Our Heroes has hosted more than 640 hiring fairs across the country, resulting in more than 20,200 veterans and military spouses securing employment.

An event hosted exclusively by SunTrust with Hiring Our Heroes is scheduled for Thursday, November 14 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, located at 265 Peachtree Street. Consistent with its commitment to financial education, SunTrust also has sponsored CredAbility, one of the leading nonprofit credit counseling and education agencies in the U.S., to make their services available at 15 of these job fairs, including the upcoming date for Atlanta. More detailed information on all Hiring Our Heroes scheduled events, including free registration, can be found online at HiringOurHeroes.org.

USAA Federal Savings Bank
USAA and Hiring Our Heroes have commissioned Sperling's BestPlaces to create a list to help veterans as they transition from the armed forces to civilian life. The 2013 list highlights the best places in the nation for veterans to find military skill-related jobs. In addition, the bank provides a number of unique checklists and services for service members exiting the military and has partnered with Hiring Our Heroes, part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, to helps veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses find employment through job fairs and online resources.

U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank has established Bankers in Boots, an ambitious veteran hiring campaign to hire a total of 1,000 veterans between 2012 and 2013. Through their Development Network, U.S. Bank's 60-chapter volunteer network, hundreds of employees worked on more than 50 projects and events in conjunction with the military and military families in 2011. In 2012, U.S. Bank was selected by the State of Minnesota to join an Employment Resource Team that traveled to Kuwait to teach job-search skills to National Guard troops. Military customers receive free ATM transactions, free checks, free Internet banking, waived maintenance fees and more. The U.S. Bank Service Center is dedicated to answering questions from military customers.

Webster Bank
Webster Bank, announced in September that Jackie Jamsheed, senior vice president, Continuous Improvement and Operating Risk Management, has received the Department of Defense Patriot Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The award is given to a supervisor and company who support their Guard and Reserve employees and their families through flexible work schedules, time off, and overall support and understanding of the strains that long term deployments can have on family members State-side. Jamsheed was nominated by Carrie Green, vice president, Six Sigma Black Belt, whose husband, 1SG John Green, was deployed in Afghanistan. The mission of the 143rd MP Company helped sustain security and a stable environment for the Afghan populace.

The ESGR is a part of the Department of Defense (DoD) and their mission is to recognize supportive employers. ESGR's 54 State Committees actively promote awards as a key element in furthering employer support, while strengthening relationships between service members and employers. DoD awards honor the sacrifices made by many employers year after year.

Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo has more than 7,500 self-identified military veteran team members, including 169 employees on military leave, and has been hiring an average of about 100 veterans a month. Their Military Affairs Program focuses on three pillars: housing, career transition and financial education.

Wells Fargo is committed to hiring and retaining military veterans, veterans with disabilities, active military personnel, national guardsman, and reservists. As a result of this commitment, Wells Fargo was ranked No. 7 on the CareerBliss list of Top 20 Happiest Companies for Veterans in 2013.  Wells Fargo also launched a four part webinar series to provide internal team members with the tools and knowledge to successfully recruit and hire veterans. So far in 2013, the company participated in more than 150 job fairs and has hired nearly 1,100 veterans.  In addition, Wells Fargo has mentored 52 veterans through their alliance with American Corporate Partners www.acp-usa.org.

Small Business
Wells Fargo also has committed its support to help military veteran entrepreneurs by participating in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Veteran Pledge Initiative. Earlier this year, Wells Fargo joined with other SBA lenders in an effort to increase SBA lending to military veteran business owners by 5 percent annually over the next five years. The industry-wide pledge is expected to result in 2,000 more SBA loans for military veteran entrepreneurs who seek financing and are ready to use credit for their business.

One year after announcing a $35 million, three year commitment to helping veterans, military members and their families with sustainable housing, career transition and financial education, Wells Fargo has announced it has donated 66 Real Estate Owned (REO) properties to wounded warriors, participated in more than 150 military job fairs and launched its Hand on Banking for Military financial education program.

Affordable Housing
In addition to the REO property donations and support to qualifying nonprofits that serve military service members and veterans, Wells Fargo's Community Lending and Investment group worked with Chinatown Community Development Center and Swords to Plowshares to renovate a historic San Francisco commercial building that now benefits 75 formerly homeless veterans with affordable housing and extensive resident supportive services.  Additionally, Wells Fargo recently partnered with the “Beswick” Partnership in Los Angeles to construct a new senior apartment complex consisting of four buildings with 32 housing units for veterans over the age of 62 who are chronically homeless and have disabilities.

Financial Education
In July, Wells Fargo launched its Hands on Banking® for Military (www.handsonbanking.org) program to address the financial education challenges facing military members, veterans and their families.  The award winning Hands on Banking program offers 10 individual lesson topics specifically for military ranging from the basics of banking to planning for retirement.  Wells Fargo also joined forces with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) to bring Hands on Banking for Military to service members in the continental United States.  Wells Fargo Military and veteran groups wishing to have a representative teach a class, or individuals interested in scheduling a session with a financial specialist can contact the NFCC at (855) 374-2773. Wells Fargo is currently training NFCC representatives, as well as veteran team members to teach the program.  To date, Wells Fargo has hosted two major financial education events with nearly 200 in attendance each and more than 3,000 people have visited the website to learn more.
 

About CBA
The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) is the trade association for today's leaders in retail banking - banking services geared toward consumers and small businesses. The nation's largest financial institutions, as well as many regional banks, are CBA corporate members, collectively holding two-thirds of the industry's total assets. CBA’s mission is to preserve and promote the retail banking industry as it strives to fulfill the financial needs of the American consumer and small business.