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Business Wal-Mart achieves veterans hiring milestone

Wal-Mart achieves veterans hiring milestone

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Wal-Mart has hired 130,828 veterans — including 16,325 from Texas — since announcing its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment in May 2013, the retailer announced on Wednesday.

Of those 130,828 individuals, 15,176 have been promoted to jobs with higher pay and greater responsibility.

The company announced the program on Memorial Day 2013. It guaranteed a job offer to any eligible, honorably discharged U.S. veteran within 12 months of active duty. The initial goal was to hire 100,000 veterans by the end of 2018.

The company expanded that initial projection on May 2015, with the goal of hiring 250,000 veterans by the end of 2020. Wal-Mart also has 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 Gary Profit, a retired brigadier general and senior director of military programs for Wal-Mart, commenting in a news release.

Sharing that assessment is Michael Robling, a U.S. Army veteran serving as the company’s operations maintenance manager in Cleburne, just south of Fort Worth.

“Through Wal-Mart’s Lifelong Learning program, I’ve had a tremendous opportunity to finish my degree and am now pursuing a master’s in disaster response management,” Robling said.

“Walmart offers thousands of veterans, like myself, the opportunity to use valuable skills that we’ve gained in the service and translate them to rewarding careers in the civilian world,” Robling said.

Aside from Wal-Mart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, the Wal-Mart Foundation also reinforces its support for transitioning military members and their families with the Wednesday 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. Locally, the Dallas office of Swords to Plowshares will receive $400,000 of the grant.

More information about Wal-Mart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment is available at http://www.walmartcareerswithamission.com.

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