Bank of America announced it exceeded a five-year goal to hire 10,000 veterans this year as it celebrates 100 years of reaching out to service members.  

The bank is among hundreds of major financial institutions, corporations and advocacy groups across the nation that have committed not only to hire one million veterans, but to help them thrive in the workplace. 

Former Army Sergeant Edward Boatwright, vice president in charge of corporate recruiting for Bank of America, said he worked diligently last year in Arizona to help the company reach that 10,000 mark. 

Former service members tend to be excellent hires, said Boatwright, who is among the 500 veterans and military spouses who hold senior executive positions companywide, company officials said. 

Veterans bring leadership skills, self-discipline, and a sense of  “camaraderie and take-care-of-each-other mentality,” explains Boatwright, who spent 21 years in the Army where he did six overseas tours, including in Kuwait and Iraq.  

“I think veterans are important to all organizations, not just ours. They bring that natural leadership that they are taught within the military service,” he said. “They are trained from day one to have that strong worth ethic; they are educated and they are trainable.” 

Arizona banks among top recruiters 

Major banks with operations in Arizona including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase are among the leaders in their companies for hiring veterans. 

In 2011, Chase co-founded the Veteran Jobs Mission, a coalition of 200 leading companies, that is helping to meet the one-million mark. Today, the coalition has hired almost 600,000 service members.

In Arizona, veterans now make up 15 percent of the workforce, Chase officials said. The bank’s Arizona operations have hired 1,500 veterans since 2011. At least 15,000 employees have been hired company-wide during that time, according to the bank’s website.

Wells Fargo has hired 8,400 veterans in its company-wide goal to hire 20,000. More than 4,000 have been at Wells Fargo for five or more years, according to the company website.  

“Whole-person” approach 

Among the goals coalition members and other national groups set in recent years is to do more than just recruiting and hiring employees from this unique group.

Today, leading banks in Arizona and across the country have large networks of programs and partnerships to help veterans: transitional career programs, mentoring, online and in-person development courses, mental health support, spousal hiring, access to a global worksites, opportunities to work with veterans in the community, and much more.  

They recruit from and partner with organizations like Carry the Load, Hiring our Heroes, Wounded Warrior Project, and the Military Pathways program that provides free, anonymous mental health and alcohol self-assessments for family members and service personnel in all branches including the National Guard and Reserve.

Donating to local charities has become a standing promise. Bank of America, for example, provided more than $21 million in 10 years to military nonprofits like Student Veterans of America, USO and Institute for Veterans and Military Families.

“Our support of veterans, service members and their families is a huge part of who we are,” Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said in announcing the bank’s achievement. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to hiring and serving military personnel who contribute so much to our company, our communities and our country.”

One century of supporting service members 

As Bank of America celebrates a 100-year anniversary of supporting service members, it offers many forms of assistance: 

• Entrepreneur Lending Program: The $20-million program connects U.S. military veteran business owners with affordable capital to help kick-start and grow their businesses.

• Veteran Small Business Capital: Through bank and CDFI (community development financial institutions) resources and expertise, the company provides capital for military-, veteran- and family-owned small businesses.

• Property Donation Program: More than 2,400 properties have been donated to nonprofits supporting military service members.

• Military Talent Acquisition Team: Through partnership with military nonprofits – including Wounded Warrior Project, Hiring Our Heroes, and Goodwill – the team attracts new talent to the company.

• Veteran Development Program: This program helps veterans connect with senior leaders and build business acumen. Hundreds of veterans also participate in line-of-business military leadership programs to support their professional development and career growth. 

• Military Support and Assistance Group: More than 11,000 teammates are members of this employee network. With 43 chapters throughout the U.S. and the United Kingdom, the network provides development opportunities for military employees and their families, through networking, mentoring, volunteering and information forums.

To learn more about Bank of America’s programs, go to Career Opportunities for Veterans


This story was originally published at Chamber Business News.