I love when companies support service members, veterans and military families–and Walmart is doing just that with their Veterans Welcome Home Commitment. What is the commitment? Well, Walmart has promised to hire any service member who was honorable discharged within 12 months of applying for a job with them.
Remember–a job with Walmart doesn’t just mean a job in retail. Walmart has over 7,000 drivers in their truck fleet, 158 distribution centers and of course many managerial positions.
I was lucky to be able to speak personally with the gentleman in charge of this program when I was down at Walmart HQ this spring. He’s a retired Army General, and I could tell while speaking to him that he is really in this for the soldier. (no offense to the sailors, marines & airmen out there–as an Army veteran I just default to soldier!). He said that the goal of the program is to provide veterans with a career if they want it, or just a “soft place to land” while they are figuring out what they want to do next. And he was quick to point out that this isn’t just charity–that veterans make exceptional employees!
To quote from the website:
Hiring a veteran can be one of the best decisions a company can make. They’re quick learners, and they’re team players. They are leaders with discipline, training and a passion for service. We’re actively recruiting veterans, transitioning military, service members and their families to bring these attributes to Walmart, and help us build a better business.
Helping veterans goes right along with the history and culture of Walmart, after all the company’s founder, Sam Walton, served in the US Army as a Captain. He started Walmart with $5000 he saved from his time in the military and modeled parts of the company after the military structure and values he learned. I’ve always noticed in the stories I’ve heard from those who actually got to meet “Mr. Sam” that he employeed a technique we used to call in my own Army days MBWA–Management By Walking Around. He didn’t lead from a desk, he led by going out to stores, walking around and talking to both customers and employees. That shows a certain style and set of values that I think every veteran I know would recognize and appreciate.
While I was researching for this blog post I ran across a couple of other programs along the same vein that I wanted to make sure you all know about:
“Hiring Our Heroes” job fairs
Walmart is a national sponsor of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Hiring Our Heroes” job fairs. Our support will help the Chamber put on hundreds of job fairs across the country this year where Walmart, Sam’s Club and other employers will have the opportunity to recruit veterans. Over the last year, tens of thousands of veterans have been connected to job opportunities through more than 100 fairs. For a full list of upcoming events, visit uschamber.com.
Military Family Promise
Our Military Family Promise guarantees a job at a nearby store or club for all military personnel, and military spouses, employed at Walmart and Sam’s Club who move to a different part of the country because they or their spouse have been transferred by the United States military. The promise also ensures associates called away to active duty will be paid any difference in their salary if the associate is earning less money during their assignment.
Please help any service members, veterans or military family members you know become aware of these programs. They may not be a fit for everyone, but there are probably a lot of folks out there who would benefit from them–if they just knew that they existed!
Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.