U.S. Bank Pledges to Double Military Hiring in 2012

The company announced that next year, it will double the number of current and former military members it hires-which totaled about 200 this year as of October-and will offer two weeks of paid leave each year to employees who have family members serving in the military.

Two days before Veterans Day, a time when military members are on many people's minds, Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp announced Wednesday that it will double the number of military members and veterans it hires in 2012 to more than 400.

The company said that approximately 200 current and former military members were hired this year as of October, and that it employs a total of 1,643 service members and veterans.

U.S. Bancorp also launched a recruiting Web site specifically for those who are or were in the military. The company said the Web site is designed to help service members identify areas at U.S. Bank in which their skills and interests might be a match.

In addition, U.S. Bancorp has launched a leadership development program that recruits former officers into a branch management training program.

“Unemployment among veterans is at 13 percent nationally,” U.S. Bancorp CEO Richard Davis said in a statement. “We want to do our part to help improve that situation. We have seen over the years that veterans make terrific employees, thanks in part to their work ethic, leadership, and dedication.”

The bank said that it will also offer up to two weeks of paid leave to employees whose family members serve in the military. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers to grant job-protected leave to family members of people serving in the military. However, employers are not required to pay the employees when they are on leave.

In addition to hiring service members, U.S. Bancorp is also trying to attract them as customers. Earlier this year, the bank started a dedicated customer service line for military members and their families. According to the bank, the service line is staffed with bankers familiar with the Civil Relief Act, a law that postpones or suspends economic and legal obligations-including credit card debt and mortgage payments-for military personnel called in to active duty.

U.S. Bancorp is among Minnesota's 10 largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $18.1 billion in its most recent fiscal year.