There will be plenty of news coming out in the next few days about the White House’s Joining Forces program, as First Lady Michelle Obama will be presenting an update on the program’s goals later today, as well as future steps to help hire and train veterans and military spouses. One notable piece of news we thought should get its own call-out today is Walmart‘s announcement of a new program in which it is pledging to hire any honorably discharged veteran within one year of their date of discharge.
The new program is scheduled to start at the end of May, and Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon estimates the average hiring process should take 30 days. How long will this program last? We should be getting more details in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.
Update: Below is the latest press release on Walmart’s pledge, along with some more specifics.
Today, Walmart U.S. CEO and U.S. Navy Veteran Bill Simon participated in the Joining Forces Employment Announcement with President Obama, Vice President Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden at the White House.
Mr. Simon made the following statement regarding Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment and the White House Joining Forces Initiative:
“We greatly appreciate the President and First Lady Obama and the Vice President and Dr. Biden’s leadership on creating opportunity for veterans. It’s an important effort, and it’s making a difference.
“The private sector is stepping up for our heroes, just as they have stood for us. Every company in America has benefited from the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.Sadly, too many of those who fought for us abroad now find themselves fighting for jobs at home.
“It’s up to us to right this – and to put our veterans back to work. And let’s be clear: hiring a veteran can be one of the best decisions any of us can make. Veterans bring to the private sector that seriousness and sense of purpose that the military instills. These are leaders with discipline, training, and a passion for service. Our nation has invested in their skills and it shows.
“So earlier this year, Walmart announced we will offer a job to any honorably discharged veteran within his or her first twelve months off active duty. We project that Walmart will hire and train more than 100,000 veterans over the next five years.
“Since then, we have been building the systems to launch this effort on Memorial Day. Today, I’m pleased to share we’ve set a goal of a 30 day hiring process for veterans seeking direct job placement — 30 days from job application to job offer. And we believe the vast majority of applicants will be placed within 30 days.
“We’ve also been reaching out to other companies. When we announced our commitment, the First Lady’s team immediately expressed an interest in working with us and the entire business community to build on our pledge through the Joining Forces Initiative.
“To move this effort forward, I wrote to 50 CEOs in the U.S. to urge them to make hiring commitments of their own. And I’m proud that 43 of those companies joined us in March for a working meeting at the White House. I’d like to thank the Joining Forces Initiative, which has been a great partner in creating awareness and building momentum.
“I can also share today that we’re working with several other companies to create a talent exchange that will help veterans find the most appropriate job openings for them – no matter where they apply. We want to offer veterans the best range of opportunities across different industries and occupations should they need it.
“Through their service, veterans give us a land of freedom. I believe it’s our responsibility to give them a land of possibility when they return.”
For more information about Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment please visit: www.walmartcareerswithamission.com/