Walmart’s Plan to Hire Veterans Benefits Ft. Hood [POLL]
Walmart, the nation's largest private employer, is looking to create the "roaring 2010's" with a push to hire veterans across the country, and soldiers discharging at Ft Hood could benefit soon from the plan.
In a move that could affect hundreds of local veterans, Walmart says it wants to hire roughly 100,000 veterans at its 3,981 stores nationwide. It's a plan president and CEO Bill Simon thinks will kick start the economy in much the same way returning veterans of World War I and World War II created a boom in the economy returning from their respective wars.
Simon referenced the Doughboys of World War I in his speech at the 2013 National Retail Federation's annual BIG Show, where he announced the plan.
"After World War I, the doughboys came home, and we had the roar of the 1920s. After World War II, the GIs led the longest economic boom in our history," Simon said during the speech. "I can think of no better group to lead in revitalizing our economy than those who have served in uniform."
And Fort Hood
Ft Hood's ACAP (Army Careers and Alumni Program) helps soldiers transitioning to civilian life find jobs not just in Central Texas. ACAP's marketing coordinator, Tamara Brethouwer said employers reach out to the agency regularly from across the country.
Brethouwer confirmed she has reached out to Walmart, as she would normally do, concerning an upcoming job fair to be held June 19th. She said while the big box retailer had not confirmed plans to attend the June 19th job fair, it had attended past employment events.
"They're great because they have a large footprint throughout the country," said Brethouwer of the retailer's plans.
ACAP is the place most soldiers leaving the military, whether through retirement or otherwise, turn for assistance with the transition. Workshops and weekly Veterans Affairs seminars are just a few of the services offered.
Getting veterans into the workforce is also a goal of the administration.
First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Joining Forces initiative, to focus on training for military veterans and spouses. In a statement about Walmart's plan to hire veterans, Obama called the move "historic," and a "concrete example" of the nation's support for our veterans and challenged every other American business to follow Walmart's lead.
‘‘We all believe that no one who serves our country should have to fight for a job once they return home,’’ said the First Lady.
Walmart's announcement was coupled with news that it would also be spending $50-billion in additional money on American goods over the next decade. Part-time workers will also have the opportunity to become full-time employees with benefits, quieting another criticism of the retail giant.
There are those that are critical of Walmart's plan, calling it nothing more than a PR stunt. Critics point out the large turnover at Walmart that leads to the hiring of 480,000 annually, and the 100,000 veterans being hired would only represent 4.2% of the total workforce hired over the next 10 years.
Ultimately, time will tell how well the plan works to recruit veterans and keep them employed. But for for the thousands of troops returning home to Fort Hood, any news of jobs is good news.