Walmart Programs Employ Vets, Vet Spouses

November 11, 2019, 1:02 PM HST (Updated November 11, 2019, 1:02 PM)
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This Veterans Day, Walmart announced its veteran hiring numbers since launching the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment in 2013.

During that time, the corporation said it has hired more than 243,000 veterans nationwide. The company also reported more than 39,000 veteran associates have earned promotions since joining the Walmart and Sam’s Club teams.

In Hawai‘i, Walmart has hired more than 590 veterans over the last six years.

“I first heard about Walmart’s commitment to veterans from other associates when I was shopping at various Walmarts across the mainland,” said retired Navy veteran Shawn Wilbur. “Their flexible scheduling really helps me. I have two kids and they have been able to accommodate the hours that I need to be with my family.”

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Wilbur retired from the Navy after 20 years of service. He started as a toy department associate six months ago and was promoted to department manager of furniture last month.

Navy veteran Martin Gordon started as an overnight seasonal associate with Mililani Walmart about four and a half years ago. Shortly thereafter, he was hired for a full-time position at Pearl City Walmart.

“Walmart’s commitment to veterans is a good thing for folks getting out of the service because it provides the stability they are used to,” said Gordon.

On Memorial Day 2013, Walmart introduced the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment with an initial goal of hiring 100,000 veterans. Two years later, the company expanded the original projection with the goal of hiring 250,000 veterans by the end of 2020 and remains ahead of schedule to meet that goal, a company press release stated.

“We applaud Walmart for taking a leadership role in hiring veterans, particularly with our state’s low unemployment and talent crunch,” said Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i President and CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara. “The men and women who come out of serving our country have dedication, a strong work ethic and are exceptional problem solvers. We are grateful for their service to protect our country and appreciate businesses like Walmart who show their gratitude and honor our veterans by giving them an opportunity.”

Walmart recognized veterans, their spouses and families across the country with dozens of in-store ceremonies and events.

Walmart announced an additional focus related to its commitment to veterans and their families with the Military Spouse Career Connection (MSCC). Through the MSCC, Walmart provides hiring preference to military spouses, becoming the largest US company to make such a commitment, the release said. The first military spouse associates were officially hired within weeks of the company committing to MSCC and since that time, Walmart has hired more than 14,000 nationally.

According to the Department of Defense (DoD) Military Spouse Employment Partnership, 77% of military spouses want or need work, yet they face barriers to finding and maintaining employment due to the frequent relocation of their active duty spouses. The DoD Military Spouse Employment Partnership also reports that more than 36% of military spouses relocated within the last 12 months, which more than doubled their odds for being unemployed.

For more information about Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment and the Military Spouse Career Connection, visit walmartcareerswithamission.com.

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