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Wal-Mart Pledges to Hire 100,000 Veterans

 

Company Promises to Move Veterans and the Economy With New Corporate Strategy

 

(VIRAL VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Wal-Mart intends to hire veterans—an army of them.  It also
intends to move quickly where government can’t: private industry.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer and the biggest private employer in the U.S. with 1.4 million workers, said it’s rolling out a three-part plan to help grease the wheels of a sluggish U.S. economy today.

 

Pledge to Hiring Vets

wal mart flagThe company’s plan includes hiring more than 100,000 veterans over the next five years, spending $50 billion to buy more American-made merchandise in the next 10 years, and helping part-time workers move into full-time positions sooner.

The surprise move comes as Wal-Mart attempts to bolster a tarnished reputation having been hit in the past year by an alleged bribery scandal in Mexico and a deadly fire at a Bangladesh clothing factory.

Wal-Mart is criticized for its low-paying jobs and buying habits in the U.S.  It said its new company strategy intends to highlight career opportunities in the retail industry which supports one in four jobs in the US and with $444 billion in annual revenue.

“We’ve developed a national paralysis that’s driven by all of us waiting for someone else to do something,” Bill Simon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart’s U.S. business, said.  “The beauty of the private sector is that we don’t have to win an election, convince Congress or pass a bill to do what we think is right. We can simply move forward, doing what we know is right,” Simon said.

At the epicenter of Wal-Mart’s plan is a pledge to hire veterans, many of who have come home from Afghanistan and Iraq and are having a particularly hard time finding jobs.  The unemployment rate for veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan stood at 10.8 percent in December, compared with the overall unemployment rate of 7.8 percent.

The program, which will start on Memorial Day, will include jobs mostly in Wal-Mart’s stores or in its Sam’s Club locations.  Some will be at its headquarters, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, or the company’s distribution centers.

Wal-Mart said it promises to hire every veteran who wants a job and has been honorably discharged in the first 12 months of active duty.

Simon, who served in the Navy, said that veterans have ‘a record of performance under pressure’.  “They’re quick learners, and they’re team players.  These 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,” he said.

vetsWal-Mart said First Lady Michelle Obama, who spearheaded a White House drive to encourage businesses to hire veterans, has expressed an interest through her team in working with Wal-Mart and with the rest of the business community on this initiative.

In the next several weeks, Simon said the White House will meet with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense and major U.S. employers to encourage businesses to make commitments to train and employ American’s returning veterans.

The First Lady called Wal-Mart’s announcement ‘historic.’  “We all believe that no one who serves our country should have to fight for a job once they return home.  Wal-Mart is setting a groundbreaking example for the private sector to follow,” Ms. Obama said in a statement today.

 

$50 Billion in US Goods Manufacturing

manufacturingIn addition to hiring veterans, Wal-Mart said that it will spend $50 billion to buy more products made in the U.S. over the next 10 years.  According to data from Wal-Mart’s suppliers, items that are made, sourced or grown in the U.S. account for about two-thirds of the company’s spending on products for its U.S. business.

Wal-Mart said that it plans to focus on buying more in areas such as sporting goods, fashion basics, storage products, games and paper products.  The commitment comes as economics are changing for making goods overseas. 
Labor costs are rising in Asia, while oil and transportation
costs are high and increasingly uncertain.

 

Moving Up

promoThe final piece of Wal-Mart’s plan is to help part-time Wal-Mart workers transition into full-time employment if they so wish.  Simon said that about 75 percent of its store management start as hourly associates and their average management pay is $50,000 to $170,000 a year.

“There are some fundamental misunderstandings out there about retail jobs, and we need to do better at explaining the many opportunities we offer,” Simon said.

* * * * * * * *

Let’s be clear:  the new corporate strategy is both a sincerely gracious decision and a masterful public relations stroke.

Wal-Mart and the media failed to note that some of the jobs for returning veterans will be for part-time positions. There’s also another bottom line fiscal consideration not being mentioned– the up to $9,600 tax credit offered to employers for hiring returning vets.

6 Responses to “Wal-Mart Pledges to Hire 100,000 Veterans”

  1. LaWanya says:

    I love you Walmart you saved Eureka!!!

  2. Steve Lewis says:

    I just posted this comment on the anti-Walmart Sum of Us Facebook page:

    Will you idiots stop your farooking class war with the working class and poor of America? Most all of you partaking in this attack on Walmart come from privileged classes, yuppies and others who were raised with college educations and material goodies working class and poor kids never see. Walmart exists because it serves the needs of the working class and poor of America while you attack it and Never Ever provide working class and poor with alternatives: Go shop at your nearest natural food store? I don’t think so. Can’t afford the inflated prices. So as long as you attack Walmart, you are mounting in effect a Class War against the working class and poor of America.

    Stephen Lewis My God, there are companies like the ones manufacturing cattle prods that are being sold to the Chinese Army to be used against Tibetans who refuse to become Chinese citizens in their own country. Where is your protest of that? Where is your protest of Catapillar military bulldozers? There are countless real targets of horrendous arms manufactures and you attack the company that serves the working class and poor. Why do you do it? Because you’re lazy and it’s easier to create an icon of evil than to actually find out what companies are doing the most damage to citizens around the world. Stop attacking Walmart when you don’t provide any workable alternative for American working class and poor. That’s just chickenshit yuppie class warfare and has no place in real social change.

    What these activists are doing is exactly what activists did here in Humboldt County with Pacific Lumber Company. They create a target corporation and make it into an icon of evil with constant political attacks on it never ever caring about the lives of the workers in these companies. Scotia is a ghost town. There’s no employment there because enviros succeeded in shutting it down, again with no economic alternatives for the local working class. “Let them eat cake” is about the reality of these yuppie class activists.

    These activists are vulnerable to us pointing out their lack of ethics in their political campaigns. Point them out every chance you get.

  3. Dori Bathke says:

    Great blog! Thanks!

  4. bill masson says:

    Last week the parking lot was full at walmart .Seems people like it just fine .But i still think they need a super center in Fortuna.

  5. Monty Shingleur says:

    This is a topic– Walamrt– that is close to my heart… Best wishes! Where are your contact details though?

  6. skippy says:

    Monty, at the very top of the opening page banner under “Contact Us.”

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