More than 200 L.A.-area companies have hired 10,500 military veterans over the past three years, beating a goal set by Eric Garcetti for 10,000 veteran hires by the end of this year, the L.A. mayor announced Tuesday.

Garcetti established the 10,000 Strong veteran hire program in mid-2014, setting aside $5 million toward tax credits of up to $9,600 per hire. At that time, the unemployment rate for veterans in Los Angeles County was about 15 percent.

Among the companies that have hired veterans under the program: Walt Disney Co., Space Exploration Technologies Corp., City National Bank, NBCUniversal, Northrop Grumman Corp. and Starbucks Coffee Co.

“Veterans are some of the hardest-working, most-qualified, and prepared people in Los Angeles – and they should have every chance to succeed in the workplace, and make a living for themselves and their families,” Garcetti said in a statement. “I am proud of the incredible success of 10,000 Strong, and grateful for everything it has accomplished for some of our most deserving workers and local employers.”

Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.

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