Supporting Reintegration of U.S. Veterans into the Civilian Workforce

Walmart's Global Responsibility Report 2016
Jul 28, 2016 9:00 AM ET

As featured in the Walmart Global Responsibility Report 2016

Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, served as an Army captain during World War II, and he used his Army savings as the initial capital to open his first store. Like Mr. Walton, veterans offer important strengths to our communities, such as a strong work ethic, technical skills and leadership capabilities, to name a few. But transitioning from the military to civilian life can be difficult. Despite the wealth of resources and opportunities available to veterans, some remain vulnerable to financial, employment, relationship and legal challenges as they return home from service.

Walmart aims to make it easier for U.S. veterans and their families to reintegrate into civilian life through our “Veterans Welcome Home Commitment,” which offers Walmart jobs to returning veterans. Additionally, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed $20 million over five years to work on collective impact initiatives to help support and integrate returning service members. 

This work will focus in states with a strong military presence, such as North Carolina, Texas and California, and will offer veterans a coordinated way to access a suite of reliable local services for job placement, housing, health care and other services they may need.

As veterans reintegrate into society, everyone benefits. Veterans provide businesses with extraordinary assets and talent as hard-working, high-skilled people with strong leadership potential. Swift reintegration also enhances the stability of veterans’ families and communities, while also building local economies, strengthening the U.S. workforce, and preserving the volunteer military in the U.S.

Welcoming Veterans Home
On Memorial Day 2013, Walmart introduced our Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, which guaranteed a job offer to any eligible, honorably discharged U.S. veteran who was within 12 months of active duty. Our goal was to hire 100,000 veterans by the end of 2018.

The initiative has been successful beyond our expectations. Since our initial announcement, we have hired more than 120,000 veterans, with almost 13,000 having been promoted to jobs with higher pay and greater responsibility. Given this positive outcome, in May of 2015, we announced the expansion of our original projection, with the goal of hiring 250,000 veterans by the end of 2020. We have also changed the eligibility from within 12 months of active duty, to any veteran who has been honorably discharged since we announced the commitment in May 2013.

As another way to support our veterans and their families, Walmart’s Military Family Promise guarantees a job at a nearby store or club for all military personnel, and military spouses, employed at Walmart and Sam’s Club, who move to a different part of the country due to a transfer by the United States military. The promise also specifies that associates called away to active military duty will be paid any difference in their salary if the associate is earning less money during their military assignment.

Working Collaboratively to Meet the Needs of Veterans
Upon returning home, veterans often find it challenging to navigate the multiple agencies offering job placement, medical care and other social assistance. This can result in inconsistent use and quality of services. To address this problem, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have pledged $20 million through 2019 to support the needs of returning veterans by promoting a coordinated approach to veterans’ needs. That’s why we are pursuing two strategies:

  • Expanding high-quality job training opportunities for U.S. veterans transitioning to civilian life
  • Building innovative public private partnerships that coordinate veteran service across organizations to create a coherent and interconnected service directory

In 2015, the Walmart Foundation announced our support for the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge initiative. Through this, the Walmart Foundation joins approximately 30 funders finding ways to strengthen services and support for millions of veterans and military families. The Pledge has secured more than $275 million for these efforts, and the Walmart Foundation is focusing on strengthening the regional and state ecosystems that serve veterans and military families.

Learn more about Walmart's commitments to creating opportunity for veterans in the 2016 Global Responsibility Report