ST. LOUIS, Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Financial services firm Edward Jones today announced the firm has hired 300 military veterans as financial advisors so far in 2012, adding to the roughly 1,300 veterans already employed in this role.
"Hiring military veterans is a part of the Edward Jones culture and heritage and not simply viewed as a corporate initiative," said Jim Weddle, managing partner of Edward Jones. "It's no secret that the labor-force and overall economic climate is making it difficult for veterans to successfully find civilian employment opportunities. The message we want to send is that financial services is a viable option that not only aligns with, but greatly complements, a military veteran's skill set."
Earlier this year, the firm nationally launched FORCES, a program that provides top-notch training and a compensation package designed for veterans wishing to transfer to a civilian career. The program is structured to allow eligible veterans to seek their G.I. Bill benefits1 if they so desire, but it is not mandatory for program participation. The amount of the benefit available to the veteran is determined by the Veterans Administration and is paid directly to them during the initial six months of employment and training with Edward Jones.
Coinciding with Veterans Day on November 11, the first FORCES class will complete 26 weeks of intensive training and graduate to become Edward Jones financial advisors. The new advisors boast diverse and impressive backgrounds that will lend to their success in helping clients identify and work toward long-term financial goals:
- Nicole Darty of Sammamish, Washington: Darty served in the U.S. Army as an Animal Care Technician stationed in Alaska and left the service to obtain a degree in finance. Graduating during the peak of the financial crisis, she found limited job opportunities, but eventually became an Edward Jones branch office assistant. Looking for her next big challenge, Darty became the first veteran to join the FORCES program.
- Rob Smith of Mandeville, Louisiana: Following more than 20 years of service spanning deployments and operations in more than 30 countries, Smith retired from the U.S. Marine Corp. as a Senior Counterintellgence Agent. After meeting a fellow Marine turned Edward Jones financial advisor, Smith was attracted to the FORCES program by the opportunity to run his own business and the flexiblity to spend more time with his three children.
- Valerie Wallis of Fort Worth, Texas: Wallis served in the U.S. Army for six years and is currently in the U.S. Army Reserves. Her service spanned several positions and countries, including Iraq and Korea. Utilizing her entrepreneurship Bachelor's degree and MBA, Valerie joined the FORCES program inspired by the firm's commitment to hire veterans and by the opportunity to run her own business.
The FORCES program is specifically designed for people without a financial services background but possess the skills and qualities that would make a successful Edward Jones advisor. Those eligible for the program include most veterans as well as non-military population holding advanced degrees such as a legal or medical degree or those with an MBA and who have less than 3 years of professional work experience.
G.I. Bill/OJT benefits are approved for veteran use as part of FORCES at branches in Arizona, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Oregon and Washington. Edward Jones is working for approvals at locations throughout all 50 states.
To learn more about the program and apply visit: http://www.ejcareer.com/forces/.
For veterans looking to check on their entitlement, please call the VA's Toll Free Number, 1.888.442.4551 and visit its web site, www.gibill.va.gov.
About Edward Jones
Edward Jones provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm's business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm's 12,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients to understand their personal goals -- from college savings to retirement -- and create long-term investment solutions that emphasize a well-balanced portfolio and a buy-and-hold strategy. Edward Jones embraces the importance of building long-term, face-to-face relationships with clients, helping them to understand and make sense of the investment options available today.
Edward Jones, which ranked No. 5 on FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For 2012," is headquartered in St. Louis. This is the 13th time Edward Jones has been included on this prestigious list. The Edward Jones Web site is located at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting Web site is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.
1 Edward Jones does not receive any direct or indirect benefit from the veteran who receives a GI Bill benefit.
SOURCE Edward Jones