UnitedHealth Joins Group Aiming to Hire 100K Vets

The health insurance giant has joined a coalition of corporations that aim to collectively hire 100,000 military service members and veterans within the next eight years.

Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group, Inc., said Tuesday that it has joined a coalition of major U.S. corporations that aim to collectively hire 100,000 transitioning military service members and veterans by 2020.

The company's announcement comes about a week after Governor Mark Dayton signed legislation that allows employers in the private sector to set a hiring preference for veterans and some of their spouses.

UnitedHealth said that as part of its commitment to the coalition, dubbed the 100,000 Jobs Mission, it will actively recruit service members and veterans through targeted outreach and hiring and recruitment events.

“Our nation's veterans have many characteristics highly valued by UnitedHealth Group. They are motivated and highly skilled individuals with a strong work ethic,” Rich Hughes, senior vice president of talent acquisition, development, and mobility, said in a statement. “The 100,000 Jobs Mission gives us another channel to recruit talented employees, and we are grateful for the opportunity to support our military veterans who have bravely served our country.”

To date, 41 corporations have joined the 100,000 Jobs Mission, and they've collectively hired more than 12,100 veterans. The only other Minnesota-based company in the coalition is Minneapolis-based Target Corporation.

The legislation recently signed by Dayton allows employers in the private sector to express a hiring preference for all veterans and for the spouses of veterans who have died or who have a service-related disability. The bill passed both the Senate and the House with unanimous support.

A UnitedHealth Group representative couldn't be reached Tuesday morning to provide additional information about the company's specific hiring goals related to the 100,000 Jobs Mission.

UnitedHealth said that its participation in the coalition is one of several ways that it supports veterans and their families. It already partners with the Military Spouse Employment Partnership, RecruitMilitary, and the Wounded Warrior Project, which provide career and other resources for military members and/or their spouses. Additionally, its UnitedHealthcare subsidiary is the presenting sponsor of Ride 2 Recovery-which supports physical and psychological rehabilitation programs for injured veterans and features cycling as the core activity.

Roughly 2,700 troops are expected to return to Minnesota in the coming weeks, and about 20 percent of them will be looking for jobs upon their return, according to a recent report by the Pioneer Press, which cited data from the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs and the Minnesota National Guard.

UnitedHealth Group is Minnesota's largest public company based on its revenue, which totaled $101.9 billion in 2011.