Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine joins Walmart and Hire Heroes USA on Capitol Hill to honor nation’s veterans
Bentonville, Ark., June 27, 2017 – Ahead of Independence Day, the Walmart Foundation takes another step in its commitment to veterans by announcing a $1 million grant to Hire Heroes USA, supporting their efforts to help more veterans find meaningful employment. The national nonprofit is the preeminent organization providing essential career services to transitioning U.S. military members, veterans and military spouses across the United States and around the world.
The $1 million grant comes as Hire Heroes USA continues its substantial impact on the veteran space, including a recent string of record-setting weeks for clients hired, and the launch of a new job board and virtual career fairs - reinforcing the nonprofit as a top resource for veterans and the companies that want to hire them.
“Veterans have unique and valued skill sets, such as leadership, creativity and problem solving, making them highly marketable job candidates,” said Brian Stann, president and CEO of Hire Heroes USA and a Marine Corps combat veteran. “Support from organizations like the Walmart Foundation make it possible for us to continue to lead the way in veteran hiring through innovation, focus and hard work. We’ve seen a 20 percent increase in veterans seeking our services this year alone, so the impact of this grant is immediate and far-reaching. Our 17,000 hires to date have generated an estimated economic impact of $205 million in the veteran space, but we know our work isn’t done.”
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, in 2016, more than 200,000 men and women serving in the military transitioned to civilian life, and many find it difficult to navigate multiple agencies offering job placement and other services. In the same year, there were more than 450,000 unemployed veterans in the United States, 40 percent of who were between the ages of 18 to 44, according to the Department of Labor.
“As the backbone of our nation, veterans are highly valuable to civilian employers,” said Retired Brigadier General Gary Profit, senior director of military programs at Walmart. “The Walmart Foundation is proud to stand behind Hire Heroes USA to celebrate the work they do for our local communities and workforces.”
The grant will be announced at an interactive dessert reception hosted by Walmart on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Walmart and Hire Heroes USA will be joined by Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine who will speak to the need to support veterans transitioning to civilian careers and will engage with senators, congressional staff and other attendees by leading dessert station challenges and serving as an emcee during the reception.
“After 10 years of service, I understand first-hand how important veterans and military service members are to society and have made it my personal mission to give back to them and their families in every way I can,” said Chef Robert Irvine, host of Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible. “Partnerships between organizations like the Walmart Foundation and Hire Heroes USA inspire community support for the men and women who defended, or are currently defending, our freedom at home and abroad.”
Chef Irvine established the Robert Irvine Foundation to support military personnel and their families. In recent years he was honored with two very distinguished recognitions for his dedication to the armed services and our country’s heroes. He was first designated Honorary Chief Petty Officer by the U.S. Navy, and later that year awarded the Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment and Support of our Service Members – bestowed upon him by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Continuing his support of the military, Irvine recently became the first celebrity chef to open a restaurant, aptly named Chef Robert Irvine’s Fresh Kitchen, at the Pentagon in the fall of 2016.
For more information about Walmart’s commitment to veterans, service members and military families, please visit: http://www.walmartcareerswithamission.com/ or http://corporate.walmart.com/global-responsibility/veterans-military-families/ and follow on Twitter @WalmartToday.
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. Walmart has stores in 28 countries, employing more than 2.3 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are helping people live better by accelerating upward job mobility for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where we operate. We 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 foundation.walmart.com.
About Hire Heroes USA
Headquartered in the Atlanta metro area, in Alpharetta, Ga., with seven additional branch offices around the country, Hire Heroes USA is a Charity Navigator 4-Star rated national nonprofit that provides consistently effective, individualized career coaching services to transitioning military members, veterans and military spouses with an uncompromising focus on results. For more information about our mission, our services, and how to get involved as a corporate partner, employment partner, donor, or volunteer, please visit us online at hireheroesusa.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.