Walmart CEO: 'Every Veteran May Not Want a Job in Retail, But If They Do, They Have a Place at Walmart'

The editors at Helping Heroes Work got a chance to talk to retired Brigadier General Gary M. Profit, the senior director of military programs at Walmart, about the company's pitch to train and hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years.

What are Walmart's initiatives for hiring veterans?

We believe in providing opportunities for those men and women who served and sacrificed to provide opportunity for us. Recently, Walmart president and CEO Bill Simon announced that, beginning on Memorial Day, Walmart will offer a job to any honorably discharged veteran within his or her first 12 months off active duty. Every veteran may not want a job in retail, but if they do, they have a place at Walmart.

We believe our company is already the largest private employer of veterans, and we want to hire more. We project that we'll hire more than 100,000 veterans over the next five years. We have focused our charitable giving on programs that support veterans faced with the highest unemployment. In 2010, the Walmart Foundation announced a $10 million donation over five years to help our nation's heroes find employment when they come home. And in 2011, we doubled that number to $20 million.

What is Walmart looking for from vets?

We believe that hiring a veteran can be the best decision a company can make. The men and women who served in the military encompass key traits that will translate into successful associates, including a record of performance under pressure, a passion for service, and the ability to learn quickly.

What are you doing to recruit vets?

We are unique in the fact that we have a presence in communities all around the U.S. We want to help ease the burden of our veterans and help them find employment across the country. As part of our efforts to help recruit veterans, we have partnered with Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden's Joining Forces Initiative, the Bipartisan Congressional Veterans Job Caucus, the Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and many veterans organizations across the country. During the coming year, we will host regional events to raise awareness about veteran unemployment and the critical need to hire veterans, and we are exploring how we can expedite the hiring process for veterans seeking work. Walmart will also use our extensive array of digital communication tools to remind any veteran looking for work that he or she should go to We are also working with the White House to encourage other companies to get involved in this effort, and we are exploring how companies can possibly refer job applicants to each other if another employer has a more appropriate job.

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The Mission:

‘You’re hired!’ There is no greater way for a business to say thank you to our courageous servicemen and women than providing them with a job.  The mission of Helping Heroes Work is to raise awareness for the responsibility we all share in helping our returning veterans begin this next critical phase in their lives. More