Wal-Mart celebrates America’s enlisted personnel in one way that counts – providing them good jobs with the potential for promotion.
The Arkansas-based retailer has hired 130,828 veterans since May 23, when Wal-Mart announced Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, including nearly 8,000 veterans in the state of Florida.
Of those 130,828 veteran hires, 15,176 have moved into jobs within Wal-Mart offering higher pay and greater responsibility.
One of those Florida hires was Frank Marrs, a former Navy Master Chief Petty Officer in the Navy. Marrs said one of the reasons he came to Wal-Mart was the fond memories of his grandparents, who had met founder Sam Walton.
“The availability of jobs and the opportunities at Wal-Mart are limitless; it really depends on the individual,” said Marrs, now an assistant manager at the Wal-Mart in Pace. “You can work for Wal-Mart your entire life and do a number of jobs to find out what truly inspires you.”
On Memorial Day 2013, Wal-Mart introduced the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment program, with the goal of guaranteeing a job offer to any eligible, honorably discharged U.S. veteran who was within 12 months of active duty.
Initially, the objective was to hire 100,000 veterans by the end of 2018. By May 2015, Wal-Mart expanded on the original estimate, bumping the number to 250,000 veterans by the end of 2020.
Wal-Mart also changed eligibility from within 12 months of active duty, to any veteran honorably discharged since the launch of the commitment in May 2013.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment among veterans is at its lowest in eight years. However, Gulf War-era veterans continue to be under or unemployed.
“As a veteran, I know how critical it is for our men and women in uniform to have a strong support structure when transitioning back to civilian life,” said retired Brigadier General Gary Profit, who serves as senior director of military programs for Wal-Mart. “A job is an important part of that transition, and at Wal-Mart, we’re proud to use our strengths as one of the nation’s largest employers to be a part of that bridge back home by providing meaningful opportunities to 7,900 veterans, and counting, in Florida to use their unique talent and skills.
“Veterans are among some of our strongest associates and we are pleased to see the growth and success they have achieved at Wal-Mart,” Profit added.
In addition to Wal-Mart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, the Wal-Mart Foundation is continuing to support the transition of military members and their families with an additional $2.6 million in grants to nonprofit organizations supporting veteran reintegration – The American GI Forum and Swords to Plowshares:
- Texas-based American GI Forum National Veterans Outreach Program stabilizes veterans through both housing and job assistance among other services. That group will receive a $1 million grant for employment placement assistance.
- Swords to Plowshares will also receive $1.6 million in grants to enhance innovative employment and training programs at the California Veterans Employment and Training Collaborative and the Texas Veterans Employment and Training Collaborative.