Walmart Foundation announces $2.6 million in grants to leading organizations dedicated to supporting transitioning military and their families
Bentonville, Ark., May 24, 2016 – Today, Walmart announced it has hired 130,828 veterans since it announced its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment in May 2013*. Of those veteran hires, 15,176 have been promoted to jobs with higher pay and greater responsibility.
On Memorial Day 2013, Walmart introduced the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, which guaranteed a job offer to any eligible, honorably discharged U.S. veteran who was within 12 months of active duty. The initial goal was to hire 100,000 veterans by the end of 2018. In May of 2015, Walmart announced the expansion of that original projection, with the goal of hiring 250,000 veterans by the end of 2020. Walmart has also changed the eligibility from within 12 months of active duty to any veteran who has been honorably discharged since the announcement of the commitment in May 2013.
Despite unemployment among veterans being at its lowest in eight years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterans from the Gulf War era 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, senior director of military programs for Walmart. “A job is an important part of that transition, and at Walmart, 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 for 130,828 veterans, and counting, 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 Walmart.”
“When I returned home from serving overseas, Walmart was there for me with a job and when I was recalled to serve that job was waiting for me when I was again stateside,” said Patrick Shannon, a Walmart associate and fresh produce operations manager in Indianapolis. “It meant the world to me to have not just a job, but an opportunity that has allowed me to grow in my career and mentor other veterans.”
Beyond Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, the Walmart Foundation is also reinforcing its support for transitioning military members and their families with the announcement of $2.6 million in grants to nonprofit organizations that support veteran reintegration:
- American GI Forum National Veterans Outreach Program, which stabilizes veterans through housing and job assistance among other services, will receive a $1 million grant for employment placement assistance. The program plans to expand services to veterans’ spouses and veterans over 40, while continuing to place an emphasis on female veterans and increase early intervention efforts for veterans needing mental health services.
- Swords to Plowshares will receive a $1.6 million grant to enhance the California Veterans Employment and Training Collaborative and the Texas Veterans Employment and Training Collaborative’s ability to innovate employment and training programs. Sub-grantees will be selected through a rigorous RFP process. The total grant will be re-granted to four to six organizations in Texas and eight to 10 California-based organizations. Swords to Plowshares provides services to veterans, including employment and training, mental health assessment, case management, transitional and permanent supportive housing and legal services for the purpose of accessing VA disability benefits.
“Veterans make great additions to the workforce, and we are honored to help with their transition into civilian life,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer at Walmart and president of the Walmart Foundation. “Our men and women in uniform should have easy access to services needed for a successful reintegration. The American GI Forum and Swords to Plowshares have a proven track record of streamlining services and we’re proud to support them.”
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting our nation’s military service members. In October 2015, Walmart launched the Greenlight A Vet campaign to help create visible and actionable national support for veterans nationwide. Walmart invited all Americans to show support for veterans by changing one light bulb in their home to green, raising awareness on social media, volunteering and serving with veteran groups in their community, or starting a mentor/mentee relationship with a veteran.
While a job is a vital piece of transitioning from military to civilian life for a veteran, it also takes a coordinated, multi-sector effort to create healthy transitions to civilian life. 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. With the early completion of the commitment in May of 2014, 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. This includes $1 million in support for Welcome Home North Carolina, a pilot initiative to strengthen regional collaboration among veteran-serving organizations.
For more information about Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, please visit: www.walmartcareerswithamission.com and follow on Twitter @WalmartToday.
*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.
Wal-Mart Stores, 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, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our 11,527 stores under 63 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2016 revenue of $482.1 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 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 http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. We have stores in 28 countries, employing more than 2.2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. We are helping people live better by accelerating upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where we operate and inspiring our associates to give back. Whether it is helping to lead the fight against hunger in the United States with $2 billion in cash and in-kind donations or supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment through a series of grants totaling $10 million to the Women in Factories training program in Bangladesh, China, India and Central America, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are not only working to tackle key social issues, we are also collaborating with others to inspire solutions for long-lasting systemic change. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit http://www.foundation.walmart.com.