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Jamie Dimon: The US military has world's best job training

Omil Xia

At a panel live-streamed on Yahoo Finance Wednesday, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon cited the US military as doing the “best job in the world” of training people who aren’t ready to enter the workforce.

“You know who does the best job in the world of training kids who are probably not prepared to be part of a team and train and stuff like that, they probably don’t show up on time, and a lot of them didn’t finish high school? The United States military,” Dimon said at JPMorgan’s Forum on Career Education and Economic Opportunity.

Dimon added: “They take these kids, give them a haircut, teach them how to be on time, teach them how to be a team. They’re kind of ready to do a lot of things.”

The JPMorgan CEO has put his money where his mouth his. JPMorgan’s military recruiting team has hired roughly 11,000 veterans since 2011. “We hire a lot of these veterans because they do such a good job,” Dimon states.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon

An increasing number of military veterans have found a place in corporate America because of the Veterans Jobs Mission, which JPMorgan co-founded in 2011 to increase the veteran employment rate.

The Mission launched the program, 100,000 Jobs Mission, for companies to collectively hire 100,000 military members by the end of 2020. As of November 11, 2016, more than 360,00 veterans have been hired and more than 230 companies have joined the coalition.

When the Veteran Jobs Mission began, in 2011, male veterans between the ages of 18 to 24 in particular had a tough time finding jobs, with an unemployment rate of 29.1%. The unemployment rate for veterans in that age group dropped to 8.9% in 2015, though it did go up again to 15.1% in 2016.

While it’s clear that employers are starting to value veterans’ experience more, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who also sat on the panel, argued that many public school graduates aren’t prepared for the military itself.

“The public school system is so bad these kids physically can’t pass the physical test, and can’t read, and can’t do the math,” Bloomberg said. The military, like the rest of the workforce, wants the “best and brightest” candidates, Bloomberg said, adding: “Unfortunately, if you don’t get that basic education, none of this stuff works.”

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