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Walmart to hire 100,000+ vets over 5 years

January 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Walmart announced that it plans to hire more than 100,000 veterans over the next five years starting on Memorial Day.

"Hiring a veteran can be one of the best business decisions you make," said Walmart U.S. President and CEO Bill Simon. "Veterans have a record of performance under pressure. They're quick learners and team players. They are leaders with discipline, training, and a passion for service. There is a seriousness and sense of purpose that the military instills, and we need it today more than ever."

The offer applies to any honorably discharged vet within his or her first 12 months off active duty.

Walmart says most of the jobs will be at its stores and clubs, but some veterans may also be employed at distribution centers.

"We believe Walmart is already the largest private employer of veterans in the country, and we want to hire more," Simon said. "I can think of no better group to lead in revitalizing our economy than those who have served in uniform. Through their service, veterans give us a land of freedom. When they return, it must be to a land of possibility."

Desert Storm veteran John Hites, 54, says for years he has been in and out of work. He is currently looking for a job.

"I have been looking for a job for quite a few months, and it's been a tough process," Hites said.

Hites says when he found out Walmart wants to hire veterans, he was thrilled. Even though the Walmart offer primarily applies to veterans released from service within a year, older veterans like Hites are hopeful they can get a job as well.

"I heard the news story about Walmart hiring veterans, so I want to take an opportunity to get a job," he said. "I really think it's a great idea that they are going to support our veterans."

Disney announced last year it was looking to hire and train 1,000 veterans over three years, and officials with the California Department of Veteran Affairs say they have hundreds of job openings, and veterans are being given first priority for the positions. The United Way of Greater Los Angeles, which tracks the plight of veterans in the county, says any job opportunities for veterans is a "win win."

"We do have a huge concentration of veterans here in L.A. County. We have the most homeless veterans at 9,000, of anywhere else in the nation," said Evelyn Garcia of United Way. "We know that about 18 percent of post-9/11 veterans here in L.A. County are unemployed."

Walmart also announced that Walmart and Sam's Club would be purchasing an additional $50 billion in U.S. products over the next 10 years. Walmart said there is a "popular misconception" about where it sources the majority of its products.

"According to data from its suppliers, items that are made here, sourced here, or grown here account for about two-thirds of what the company spends to buy products at Walmart U.S.," the company said in a statement. "The company sees room to do more."


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