BENTONVILLE, Ark., July 1, 2020 — When Jessica Huntsman returned to civilian life after almost a decade of service in the U.S. Army, she found it more challenging finding a job than she’d expected.
“I put in so many applications when I left, but no one wanted to take a look,” she said. “I asked myself, ‘I check all of these boxes, why does no one want to hire me?’”
Huntsman was hired as a developmental store manager in 2010, and she’s had a very successful career since. Now, she works at the Walmart Home Office in Bentonville supporting the company’s U.S. business.
Huntsman is one of thousands of veterans who has found a home with Walmart since it introduced the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment (VWHC) in 2013, setting its goal of hiring 250,000 new veteran associates by 2020.
Today, Walmart announced it reached the hiring goal with more than 265,000 veteran associate hires. Additionally, more than 44,000 of those associates have been promoted to roles with higher pay and greater responsibility at Walmart and Sam’s Club.
“We’re forever grateful to our veterans for their service, and it’s an honor to offer them opportunities at Walmart,” said Doug McMillon, President and CEO, Walmart Inc. “To reach this goal so quickly says a lot about our company as a great place to work and build a career. I’m proud of the commitment we’ve made to veterans and their families, and I’m thrilled that so many have decided to join us. They are critical to helping us achieve a more diverse and inclusive future.”
The company originally passed the 250,000 hires milestone four months ago. However, due to the impact of COVID-19 across the country, the decision was made to wait for a more appropriate time to make the announcement.
First announced on Memorial Day 2013, the VWHC guaranteed a job offer to any eligible, honorably discharged U.S. veteran. The commitment came at a time when veteran unemployment was at an all-time high, and Walmart leadership recognized the important skills and abilities veterans brought to the workforce as well as the opportunity to ease their transition back to civilian life.
On Veterans Day 2018, recognizing the need to broaden employment opportunities for military families, Walmart introduced the Military Spouses Career Connection. Since then, the company has hired more than 31,000 associates through this program and continues offering any military spouse hiring preference when applying for a job.
“We’re proud of our ability to present opportunities to the talented service members who’ve honorably served our country,” said Brynt Parmeter, senior director for Walmart Military Programs. “This is such an important time for us,” he said. “Our company is committed to building relationships across this community to advance and improve both economic opportunity and overall well-being.
“Now, as we look ahead, we will find new ways to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful futures through employment, entrepreneurship, learning, and health and wellness initiatives,” he added.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have a long history of supporting veterans, service members and their families. Since 2011, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have invested more than $40 million in programs that support job training, education and innovative public/private community-based initiatives for veterans and military families.
For more information about Walmart’s commitment to veterans, service members and military families, please visit: walmartcareerswithamission.com or corporate.walmart.com/global-responsibility/veterans-military-families.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, over 265 million customers and members visit approximately 11,500 stores under 56 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2020 revenue of $524 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at twitter.com/walmart.