Maui Business

Walmart Expands Commitment to Hawaiʻi’s Veterans

May 20, 2015, 10:30 AM HST
* Updated May 20, 10:36 AM
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veteran_164By Maui Now Staff

Today Walmart announced that it is creating more job opportunities for transitioning US veterans in Hawaiʻi by guaranteeing a job offer to any eligible veteran who was honorably discharged from active duty since the original launch of the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment on Memorial Day 2013.

The previous commitment was for veterans within 12 months off active duty.

Since Memorial Day 2013, Walmart has hired 199 veterans in the state. In addition to the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, Walmart is expanding its 2013 projection to hire 100,000 veterans nationwide by 2018, increasing the projection to 250,000 veterans by the end of 2020.

Marine Corps Sergeant Julius Booth hadn’t thought about working at Walmart until he noticed a Hawaiʻi store staff member wearing a veteran’s card on their name badge.

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“I had grown weary of my extended job search and couldn’t find a company that could accommodate my college and weekend Army Reserves schedules,” said Julius Booth, recently promoted asset protection customer specialist for Kapolei Walmart. “After learning about Walmart’s commitment to veterans, I applied for a position at Kapolei Walmart and was hired within two weeks as a part-time cashier in May 2014. Since then, I’ve received pay increases and promotions and appreciate the ability to plan my work schedule around my college and military schedules.”

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Booth is working towards a liberal arts degree and plans on earning an engineering degree in mechanics.

“It’s been a positive experience,” said Booth. “I’m able to pursue my career dreams, my military service and balance my home life with my wife and four kids all while working with Walmart.”

“The Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi commends Walmart’s efforts in employing Hawaiʻi’s veterans who have selflessly served our country and protected our freedoms,” said Sherry Menor-McNamara, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii president and CEO. “The veteran workforce brings a host of skills and talent applicable to any industry. We’re pleased to see that Walmart is committed to supporting our veterans and providing valuable opportunities to help them transition back to civilian life.”

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“U.S.VETS is committed to ending homelessness in Hawaiʻi for all veterans and is proud to partner with companies like Walmart to work for the day that no veteran who has given their life to protect our freedoms suffers the indignity of homelessness,” said Darryl Vincent, MSW, CSAC and COO for U.S. VETS. “Each year, we assist 100 veterans in obtaining gainful and competitive employment. We are very appreciative of not only the grant support we’ve received from the Walmart Foundation during the past few years, but also the local partnerships we are forging with their local human resources staff in Hawaiʻi.”

Walmart has hired veterans at its 12 stores in Hawaiʻi, including 10 Walmart and two Sam’s Club locations. The flexibility and scheduling opportunities Walmart offers makes it possible for transitioning service members to pursue educational goals and find a meaningful new career path.

“We’ve experienced a tremendous response in Hawaiʻi to the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, and as more service members transition out of active duty, we know we can do more.” said retired Brigadier General Gary Profit, Walmart’s senior director of military programs. “We believe veterans represent the largest, diverse, talent-rich pool in the world and are an essential segment of the next generation at Walmart.”

Walmart’s support for transitioning military veterans and their families extends into programs that provide training, education and economic opportunity.

• Coalition for Veteran Owned Business: On May 5, 2015, Walmart participated in the launch of the Coalition for Veteran Owned Business, which will work to create opportunities for veteran and military-family owned businesses with American businesses and supply chains.

• Walmart’s US Manufacturing Summit and Open Call: Walmart is also specifically encouraging military and veteran-owned businesses to apply for its annual US Manufacturing Summit and Open Call to be held July 7 through 8, 2015, in Bentonville, Arkansas. The summit and open call will provide an opportunity to meet with Walmart’s buyers and facilitate meetings for current and potential suppliers with key state economic development officials.

In 2014, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed to veterans by pledging $20 million through 2019 to support veteran employment and transition programs. This pledge was made after Walmart and the Walmart Foundation successfully reached a 2011 commitment of $20 million by 2015 to help veterans and their families get through those challenges with assistance from programs that provide job training, transition support and education.

For more information about Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, go online.

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