TRENTON, NJ – Today, Walmart announced it has hired 130,828 veterans since it announced its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment in May 2013*, including 1,364 in New Jersey. Of those 130,828 veteran hires, 15,176 have been promoted to jobs with higher pay and greater responsibility, including 145 across the state.
Marine veteran Gerald Smith, a department manager at Walmart's West Berlin store, started as an overnight stocker three years ago. According to the Camden County native, "Walmart values the knowledge skills and ability veterans bring the workforce. The customer-driven work environment demands we think on our feet and those are skills taught in the military and reinforced here at Walmart.”
Steve Wronko, a Marine veteran and assistant manager at the East Windsor store, just marked his one year anniversary at Walmart. According to the Middlesex County resident, “Teamwork is essential in the military and at Walmart. For myself, and the four other veterans at my store, we find Walmart values the special contribution we bring to the work environment”
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 to 1,364 veterans, and counting, in New Jersey 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.”
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 – The American GI Forum and Swords to Plowshares:
· Texas-based 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.
· Swords to Plowshares will receive a $1.6 million grant to enhance innovative employment and training programs at the California Veterans Employment and Training Collaborative and the Texas Veterans Employment and Training Collaborative.
For more information about Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, please visit: http://www.walmartcareerswithamission.com and follow @WalmartToday on Twitter.