BENTONVILLE, Ark., May 20, 2015 – Today, Walmart announced the next step in its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment by guaranteeing a job offer to any eligible U.S. veteran honorably discharged from active duty since the commitment’s original launch on Memorial Day 2013. The previous commitment was for veterans within 12 months off active duty. In addition to the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, Walmart is expanding its 2013 projection of hiring 100,000 veterans by 2018, increasing the projection to 250,000 veterans by the end of 2020.*
Since Memorial Day 2013, Walmart has hired more than 92,000 veterans, and nearly 8,000 have already been promoted to jobs with higher pay and greater responsibility.*
“We’ve experienced a tremendous response to the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment in our first two years, and as more service members transition out of active duty, we know we can do more,” said retired Brigadier General Gary Profit, Walmart’s senior director of military programs. “We believe veterans represent the largest, diverse, talent-rich pool in the world and are an essential segment of the next generation at Walmart.”
The Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff estimates 250,000 service members may separate from the military per year over the next five years; the need for America’s leading businesses to contribute to their transition will only continue.
“Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment assures our nation's veterans that there is an opportunity available for them through a much needed short-term job or the start of a long-term career,” said James Schmeling, co-founder of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families and managing director for programming. “Walmart, Sam’s Club and the Walmart Foundation have been strong partners, supporting IVMF’s work building impactful programs, including for veteran and family business ownership, through the educational institutions and communities where veterans and families are preparing for important transitions in their lives.”
“I didn’t start out in the armed forces. I worked for Walmart, joined the National Guard, and then deployed to Iraq,” said West Bernhardt, a store manager in Tulsa, Okla. Walmart offers a military differential pay, and that kept me afloat while I was deployed in the Army. Walmart also held my position while deployed. On every military leave, I could come back to the company to work, and I was promoted within two weeks of returning from my final deployment in Iraq.”
Walmart is also extending its support for transitioning military members and their families beyond the company’s operations and is leveraging the size and scale of its supply chain to further support programs that provide training, education and economic opportunity.
- Coalition for Veteran Owned Business: On May 5, Walmart participated in the launch of the Coalition for Veteran Owned Business, which will work to create opportunities for veteran and military-family owned businesses with American businesses and supply chains.
- Walmart’s U.S. Manufacturing Summit and Open Call: Walmart is also specifically encouraging military and veteran-owned businesses to apply for its annual U.S. Manufacturing Summit and Open Call to be held July 7-8, 2015 in Bentonville, Ark. The summit and open call will provide an opportunity to meet with Walmart’s buyers and facilitate meetings for current and potential suppliers with key state economic development officials.
In 2011, Walmart and the
Walmart Foundation committed $20 million by 2015 to support veterans and their
families with assistance from programs that provide job training, transition
help and education. After delivering on this commitment in 2014 (one year ahead
of schedule), Walmart and the Walmart Foundation renewed their commitment,
announcing an additional $20 million through 2019 to support veteran job
training, education and innovative public/private community-based initiatives
that address the challenges many of our veterans face when returning to the
civilian workforce and their communities.
- Institute for Veterans and Military
Families at Syracuse University (IVMF): The Walmart Foundation awarded a $1
million grant to support a three-year initiative to pilot new ways in which
non-profit, public, and private sectors can better work together to serve
- The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. – Center for Public-Private Partnerships (CP3): The Walmart Foundation awarded a $500,000 grant to support The Veterans Metrics Initiative (TVMI): Linking Program Components to Post-Military Well-Being study. This five-year study will assess the well-being of 7,500 veterans 90 days prior to separation from military service to within three years thereafter, and document and analyze the components of the transition and reintegration programs the veterans report that they use.
*Editor’s Note: These projections and reported hires/promotions include veterans hired under our original and expanded Commitment as well as other veterans hired by Walmart in this time frame. While we think it is particularly important to support soldiers as they make the transition to civilian life, Walmart believes all veterans deserve our respect and support, no matter when they left active duty.