WASHINGTON - Walmart has hired 265,000 veterans as part of its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment program, with more than 44,000 promoted to roles with higher pay and greater responsibility.
“We’re forever grateful to our veterans for their service, and it’s an honor to offer them opportunities at Walmart,” said Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon in a statement. “To reach this goal so quickly says a lot about our company as a great place to work and build a career. I’m proud of the commitment we’ve made to veterans and their families, and I’m thrilled that so many have decided to join us. They are critical to helping us achieve a more diverse and inclusive future.”
The Veterans Welcome Home Commitment was launched on Memorial Day in 2013 to provide a guaranteed job offer for any eligible, honorably discharged U.S. veteran. The program originally planned to hire 100,000 veterans before expanding to a goal of 250,000 in 2015.
"We're so proud of all of the leadership throughout the Walmart enterprise and many of the decisions that were made for people to join our organization from the military community," Brynt Parmeter, a veteran and the senior director of Walmart's military programs, told FOX Business. "Having [veterans] in those front-line roles is just another way to serve and I couldn't be more thrilled to be part of such a great organization that's doing these things for all of us."
In addition to the VWHC, Walmart introduced the Military Spouse Career Connection on Veterans Day in 2018 to provide employment opportunities for military families. According to the company, the program has hired more than 31,000 associates and continues offering military spouses hiring preference when applying for a job.
Looking ahead, Parmeter told FOX Business that Walmart is looking for new ways to give back to the veteran community through employment, entrepreneurship, education, health and wellness.
He said the company is looking into a potential partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop veteran support initiatives and potentially align its Live Better U program with the G.I. bill to provide guidance and education through certifications and "upskilling" opportunities for veterans.
Walmart is also looking to expand opportunities for veteran small business owners to share their products or services with the larger community as well as leverage Walmart Health clinics to provide mental health resources and a potential place of employment for medical personnel transitioning out of the Department of Defense.
"We think that expanded approach across employment, entrepreneurship, learning, health and wellness will be more holistic," Parmeter added. "It'll let us tackle things in a much broader way and it'll help us think of ways to contribute to economic opportunity and well-being beyond just employment."
Parmeter said he hopes Walmart's efforts to help veterans will also contribute to solutions to tackle problems including racial inequality, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recovery of the United States.
Since 2011, Walmart has invested more than $40 million in programs supporting job training, education and public and private community-based initiatives for veterans and military families.