Blackstone (NYSE: BX) is proud to announce that 100,000 veterans, veteran spouses and caregivers have been hired across its portfolio companies through the Veterans Hiring Initiative since 2013. This achievement doubles the initial hiring commitment made by Blackstone Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder Steve Schwarzman in 2013 in response to the national call to action issued by First Ladies Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to support veterans and their families.
At a 2013 White House event, Mr. Schwarzman heard then-First Lady Michelle Obama speak about the serious challenges veterans face as they transition to civilian life. Determined to tackle the problem, he returned to Blackstone and pledged to leverage its internal resources and work with portfolio companies to hire 50,000 veterans, veteran spouses and caregivers over the course of five years.
By 2017, Blackstone portfolio companies hit that target one year ahead of schedule, and the firm redoubled its efforts. Blackstone committed to hiring another 50,000 portfolio-wide in five years. This year, Blackstone portfolio companies achieved that goal, hiring a total of 100,000 veterans, veteran spouses and caregivers – only eight years from Mr. Schwarzman’s original pledge.
“We are honored by the opportunity to support American veterans and their families,” said Steve Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone. “These individuals offer their talent, commitment and leadership to our country – and yet far too often, their remarkable abilities remain untapped by the private sector. The White House called on businesses to hire from this unique talent pool, and we couldn’t be prouder of how Blackstone portfolio companies stepped up and answered that call.”
“Veterans and their spouses crave meaningful work that makes a difference, and Blackstone offers exactly these kinds of opportunities,” added General (ret.) David L. Goldfein, 21st Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force and Senior Advisor at Blackstone. “This milestone exemplifies how effective partnership between the public and private sectors can powerfully respond and make a lasting positive impact on both veterans and Blackstone portfolio companies.”
“For nearly a decade, Blackstone’s companies have led by example, giving veterans and military spouses the training and skillsets to help them find long-term, meaningful careers,” said Eric Eversole, President of Hiring Our Heroes. “Their commitment and passion have made a meaningful difference in the lives of countless military families and we are honored to work with them.”
We thank Michael McDermott for his dedication to making this program a success as the Veterans Hiring Initiative is brought into the framework of Career Pathways, which aims to provide economic opportunities and career mobility for diverse and historically underrepresented talent pools across Blackstone portfolio companies. Blackstone has also partnered with FourBlock and the Commit Foundation – two nonprofits supporting transitioning veterans – to hold events providing veterans with career advisory services and facilitating introductions to hiring managers.
“Thanks to Michael and the Blackstone team for your unique and enduring leadership,” said Matthew Amidon, Director of the Military Service Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. “You have been and continue to be instrumental in ensuring we leverage the immense talent in our veterans and military families. Your example is the one to follow as we look to match their leadership with their next career.”
“Blackstone portfolio company CEOs have regularly remarked on how veterans bring outstanding dedication and leadership ability to their work,” said Marcus Felder, Vice President in Blackstone’s Portfolio Operations group and leader of the Career Pathways program. “Working with our portfolio companies to recruit, train and retain these exceptional employees enables us to better fulfill our core mandate: to deliver for our investors by building better businesses. It’s a win-win-win – for veterans and their spouses, for portfolio companies and for the country.”
In addition to connecting veterans with opportunities at portfolio companies, Blackstone has also prioritized recruiting and developing veteran talent within the firm and supporting veterans through charitable giving. The Blackstone Veterans Network supports the hiring and career development of veterans, veteran spouses and caregivers at Blackstone, while the Blackstone Military Internship Program (MINT) – an initiative of the Veterans Network – helps military personnel transition to careers in the financial services industry. In the coming months, Blackstone will work with Hiring Our Heroes, a program run by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to place more veterans at roles within the firm. Since 2012, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation has partnered with and made grants to nonprofit organizations supporting veterans.
Blackstone is the world’s largest alternative asset manager. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our $731 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.