Blackstone Hosts Second Annual Veterans Hiring Summit
More than 15,000 Hired in 15 Months
Summit Convenes Representatives from the White House, U.S. Military, Departments of Labor and Veterans Affairs, and Blackstone Portfolio Companies
New York, September 22, 2014. Today Blackstone (NYSE:BX) hosts its second annual Veterans Hiring Summit to support the hiring of American veterans across its portfolio companies. In April 2013, Blackstone committed to hire 50,000 American veterans across its portfolio of more than 70 companies over five years in support of the White House’s “Joining Forces” initiative. In 15 months, Blackstone has hired more than 15,000 veterans. The Blackstone Veterans Hiring Summit was designed to help hiring executives within corporations share best practices on attracting and recruiting veterans and to assist representatives from the U.S. military and government as they work in coordination with Blackstone portfolio companies.
“We have a responsibility to ensure that those who have served our nation do not struggle to find work when they return to civilian life,” said Stephen A. Schwarzman, Blackstone’s Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder, who will speak at the event. “Blackstone is proud to support the Joining Forces initiative and could not be more encouraged by the commitments our portfolio companies have made to fulfill our hiring pledge.”
The firm has sought to facilitate hiring through innovative programs across its portfolio during the past year. Most notably, in partnership with its portfolio company Hilton Worldwide, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Kendall College in Chicago, Blackstone recently announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind hospitality education program designed to help veterans and their spouses receive the experience and knowledge that can lead to a meaningful career in hospitality management.
This year’s hiring summit introduces the Blackstone Veterans Hiring Playbook, a suite of materials designed to offer the tools and information corporations need to create and follow through on their own veteran hiring programs internally. Sessions at the summit also cover a wide range of topics, including an overview of government initiatives that complement this effort, apprenticeship programs, and the role of mentorship in ensuring a positive transition to civilian life. Additionally, the summit features small break-out meetings that offer portfolio company hiring executives the opportunity to troubleshoot and share best practices with each other.
In addition to human resources executives from Blackstone’s 75 portfolio companies, the summit features Steve Parker, Executive Director of Joining Forces at the Office of the First Lady, Curtis L. Coy, Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Stephanie Barna, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness and Force Management, Terry Gerton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Labor, Rosye Cloud, Policy Director at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Frank DiGiovanni, Director of Force Readiness and Training at the Department of Defense, and Miguel Howe, Director of the Military Service Initiative at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
As part of Blackstone’s broader efforts to support veterans, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation awarded $300,000 in grants earlier this year to six organizations in Texas, New York, Florida, and California that support veterans’ employment and business development.
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