The Veterans Jobs Mission Charts Path Forward with New Advisory Board
Coalition of 300+ corporate members is advancing its commitment to support economic opportunities for veterans and military spouses
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 17, 2023) – The new Advisory Board of the Veteran Jobs Mission, a coalition led by JPMorgan Chase & Co., was formed and held its first formal meeting in May of this year. The inaugural board will provide strategic direction and oversight to the coalition as it continues to expand its commitment to support economic opportunities for veterans and military spouses. Composed of 12 elected board members, a senior advisor and a board chair, the VJM Advisory Board will provide a strong governance structure for the coalition, which was first formed in 2011, and will help further its mission of supporting military families by addressing the existing barriers to veteran and military spouse employment.
Led by a diverse group of corporate leaders with backgrounds in military and veteran affairs, human resources, and diversity, equity and inclusion, members of the VJM Advisory Board bring a variety of experience, expertise and perspective. “The VJM will continue to be a best-in-class organization that provides opportunities for member companies to network, share best practices, participate in advocacy discussions, and make a positive impact,” said Tommy Jones, Veteran Jobs Mission Advisory Board Member and Associate Director, Talent Acquisition, Verizon. “One of the top priorities is to get more companies engaged in the work that we’re doing to increase hiring and career development opportunities for veterans and military spouses, who are so vital to our nation’s communities and economy.”
Initiatives and programs to support veteran hiring are helping, according to recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Defense. The unemployment rate among veterans was just 2.2% in April 2023, compared to 3.4% for nonveterans. However, much work still remains to be done as issues surrounding retention and underemployment continue to impact both veterans and military spouses. Veterans still only represent about 5.4% of the civilian labor force, and for military spouses, the unemployment rate is around 21%.
“The military community brings immense value, diverse talent and robust skills into their next careers whether it be leadership, problem solving, teamwork, resilience and so much more,” said Mark Elliott, Veteran Jobs Mission Advisory Board Chair and Global Head of Military and Veterans Affairs at JPMorgan Chase, a founding member of the Veteran Jobs Mission. “With over 200,000 service members predicted to separate from the military each year, this presents a unique opportunity for the VJM to continue to evolve and position itself as the leader in shaping the initiatives of the future that support veterans, guard and reserve members, and military spouses.”
Advisory board members are:
- Mark Elliott (VJM Advisory Board Chair), Managing Director and Global Head of Military & Veterans Affairs, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
- Alex Gorsky (VJM Senior Advisor), Board of Directors for JPMorgan Chase & Co. and former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson & Johnson
- Eric Airola, Sr. Manager, Military Relations & Inclusion Strategy at J.B. Hunt
- Edward Carr, Senior Director, Military & Veteran Affairs at Comcast NBCUniversal
- Karin Childress, Vice President Technologies, Executive Director Veteran Center of Excellence at Randstad
- Omari Faulkner, Military & Veterans Ambassador at ManTech
- Beau Higgins, Vice President at Oplign
- Tommy Jones, Associate Director at Verizon
- Shalin Kothari, Vice President of HR Strategy and DEI at Schneider Electric NAM
- Marcus “Ohley” Ohlenforst, Lead Military Talent Strategist for the HR Chief of Staff Office at USAA
- Sean Passmore, Senior Vice President, Head of Enterprise Military and Veteran Initiatives at Wells Fargo and Company
- John Perez, Head of Military & Veterans Affairs at Johnson & Johnson
- Michael Piper, Lead of Military Recruiting and Engagement at Lowe’s Companies Inc.
- Ernie Reyes, Global Procurement Manager of Earthmoving Division, Global Chairman of the Armed Forces Support Network at Caterpillar Inc.
- Megan Murray (VJM Secretariat), External Programs Lead, Military & Veterans Affairs, JPMorgan Chase & Co.