Blackstone commits to hiring 50,000 military veterans

Blackstone Group, the New York-based private equity group, announced Tuesday it would hire 50,000 military veterans over the next five years across its various businesses.

The company said it is partnering with the White House, which is leading an effort to get more military veterans employed.

“Veterans embody many of the skills, talents and personal attributes we look for in employees," said Blackstone Chief Executive Steve Schwarzman. "Veterans are reliable, motivated and trustworthy employees — the type of people that will help Blackstone’s portfolio companies succeed and grow."

Schwarzman said the company would put training programs in place to help veterans transition into their private sector jobs.

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"We want to help veterans build life-sustaining careers after their service to this country has ended," he said in a statement.

Military veterans have higher unemployment rates than civilians, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2012, the latest year for which data are available, veterans had a 9.9% unemployment rate, higher than the U.S. jobless rate of 7.6%.  

Other large private-sector companies have made similar commitments to hiring veterans. Early this year, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced it would hire 100,000 veterans over the next 10 years. Other companies include Target Corp. and Home Depot.

In an opinion piece that appeared Tuesday on Fortune.com, First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, wrote in support of military veterans. 

"These men and women are some of the highest-skilled, best-trained, hardest-working people in this country," they wrote. "All they need is a chance."

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ricardo.lopez@latimes.com