Walmart Inc. has passed its hiring milestone for veterans.
The big-box retailer — which announced seven years ago its goal to employ 250,000 veteran associates by the end of 2020 — wrote in a statement that it has hired upwards of 265,000 veteran workers across the country. It added that it has promoted more than 44,000 of those employees to roles with “higher pay and greater responsibility” at Walmart and subsidiary Sam’s Club.
The move is part of the company’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment unveiled on Memorial Day in 2013. The initiative, it said, guaranteed a job offer to any eligible and honorably discharged United States veteran as he or she transitions back to civilian life.
“We’re forever grateful to our veterans for their service, and it’s an honor to offer them opportunities at Walmart,” president and CEO Doug McMillon said 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.”
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Walmart shared that it had originally passed the milestone four months ago but opted to make the announcement at “a more appropriate time” due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
What’s more, the chain’s Military Spouses Career Connection program — launched on Veterans Day in 2018 and aimed at broadening employment opportunities for military families — has led to more than 31,000 hires. Walmart added that it has invested more than $40 million in programs that support veterans and military families since 2011.
“Our company is committed to building relationships across this community to advance and improve both economic opportunity and overall wellbeing,” said Brynt Parmeter, senior director for Walmart Military Programs. “As we look ahead, we will find new ways to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful futures through employment, entrepreneurship, learning and health and wellness initiatives.”
Beyond veteran hires, Walmart announced at the end of April that it had employed 200,000 additional workers across its stores and distribution centers since mid-March, when the COVID-19 health crisis took hold in the U.S. The company has seen a spike in demand as it remained open, albeit with reduced operating hours, as shoppers stocked up on household essentials and other necessities during the pandemic.