NEW YORK, April 30 (UPI) -- Private equity firm Blackstone Group said it had set a goal of hiring 50,000 U.S. military veterans in the next five years.
The target applies to all the companies Blackstone owns, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
"We want to help veterans build life-sustaining careers after their service to this country has ended," Chief Executive Officer Steve Schwarzman said in a statement.
"Veterans are reliable, motivated and trustworthy employees -- the type of people that will help Blackstone's portfolio companies succeed and grow," he said.
Schwarzman said Blackstone would begin training programs for veterans, who have a higher unemployment rate of 9.9 percent -- higher than the rate of 7.6 percent for the general public, the newspaper said.
Blackstone has stakes in Hilton Worldwide, Equity Office Properties, Republic Services and AlliedBarton, among other companies. Other firms, including Target Corp., Home Depot and Walmart Stores, have also set goals of hiring more military veterans.
The White House said Tuesday U.S. businesses have hired or trained 290,000 veterans or military spouses and have committed to hiring 435,000 more by 2018.
The announcement came the same day first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, who is married to Vice President Joe Biden, said in an op-ed on Fortune.com the United States "is making real progress" on hiring of veterans and their spouses.