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New York -- Walmart announced Tuesday an ambitious plan to hire more than 100,000 veterans over the next five years. The pledge was part of Walmrt U.S. CEO Bill Simon’s Tuesday keynote address at the National Retail Federation's Annual Convention & Expo in New York.
Beginning Memorial Day, Walmart will offer a job to any honorably discharged veteran in his or her first 12 months off active duty. Most of these jobs will be in Walmart stores and its Sam's club locations. Some will be in the company's distribution centers.
“Hiring a veteran can be one of the best business decisions you make,” said Simon. “Veterans have a record of performance under pressure. They’re quick learners and team players. They are leaders with discipline, training, and a passion for service. There is a seriousness and sense of purpose that the military instills, and we need it today more than ever."
Simon also called on the retail industry to work together to provide greater career opportunities for veterans.
“Imagine what retail could do together,” said Simon. “We could leave an incredible legacy as an industry. We can be the ones who step up for our heroes. And we can do this now.”
Walmart has already spoken to the White House about its vet-hiring plans. The chain said First Lady’s team immediately expressed an interest in working with Walmart and with the entire business community to join forces to build upon this commitment. In the next several weeks, the White House will convene the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, and major American employers to encourage businesses to make significant commitments to train and employ America’s returning heroes.