General (Ret.) David H. Petraeus and Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti Join Forces with Top Los Angeles Executives to Champion Veterans

October 26, 2016


LOS ANGELES, CA—October 26, 2016—Getting an early start to recognizing the work of our service men and women on Veteran’s Day, General (Ret.) David H. Petraeus, Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs, and local corporate leaders convened on Tuesday, October 25 to discuss the state of job opportunities for veterans in Los Angeles, a discussion that was the first in an ongoing dialogue on this critical topic. Business leaders in the audience also shared ways to support veterans transitioning into new career roles.

General Petraeus discussed veteran unemployment with Dan Goldenberg, veteran and executive director of Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty Endowment, which identifies and funds the most effective organizations nationwide that place veterans into high-quality jobs. Since 2009, the Endowment has funded the placement of over 29,000 veterans into meaningful careers. The organization has recently committed to placing 50,000 veterans into jobs by 2019. 

“The unemployment rate for young veterans is three times the national average. Here in Los Angeles we have the highest percentage of veterans in the country, and by some estimates one-quarter of our local veterans are unemployed. We need to do better for the men and women who have served our country,” said Goldenberg, a captain in the Navy Reserve with 24 years of active and reserve military service. “The Call of Duty Endowment is committed to our veterans, and we are excited to be a part of this initiative.”

Participating were representatives from Activision, AECOM, Amazon, Bank of America, Grant Thornton, O’Melveny, and the nonprofit U.S.VETS, the nation’s largest provider of comprehensive services for homeless and at-risk veterans. 

“O’Melveny has long seen the tremendous value and skills veterans bring both to our own teams and to the ranks of many of our clients,” said Rochelle Karr, director of Corporate Social Responsibility at O’Melveny. “Connecting this amazing group of corporate and government leaders to create more opportunities for other members of the armed forces is a tremendous honor.”

The corporations involved in this event have long been dedicated to championing veteran’s causes. Supporting the military has been a focus of Bank of America for nearly 100 years, including a pledge to hire 10,000 veterans and service members over the next few years. Mayor Garcetti similarly teamed with more than 200 public and private sector partners to hire 10,000 veterans by 2017 as part of his 10,000 Strong initiative. AECOM currently employs more than 9,800 veterans nationwide, and Grant Thornton provides skill-building workshops for veterans and their spouses to work on resumes and interviewing skills as they return to civilian life. 

“These leaders joined the military to protect our nation and its people, and we recognize this same passion for making a difference can successfully lead them through civilian transition into a new career,” said Raul Anaya, Bank of America president for Greater Los Angeles. “I am proud to work among thousands of colleagues who are veterans and veteran spouses. We do this because they strengthen our company’s culture and know that their desire to help others doesn’t end with their service – veterans can help make financial lives better for Angelenos.”

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Julie Fei
O’Melveny & Myers LLP