Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, will announce today (Tuesday) a plan to hire every veteran who wants a job, provided that the veterans have left the military in the previous year and did not receive a dishonorable discharge.
The announcement, to be made in a speech in New York by William S. Simon, the president and chief executive of Wal-Mart U.S., represents among the largest hiring commitments for veterans in history.
Company officials said they believe the program, which will officially begin on Memorial Day – May 27 this year – will lead to the hiring of more than 100,000 people in the next five years, the length of the commitment.
“Let’s be clear: Hiring a veteran can be one of the best decisions any of us can make,” Mr. Simon will say in his keynote speech to the National Retail Federation, according to prepared text. “These are leaders with discipline, training and a passion for service.”
In a statement, the first lady, Michelle Obama, who has led a campaign by the White House to encourage businesses to hire veterans, called the Wal-Mart plan “historic,” adding that she planned to urge other corporations to follow suit.
“We all believe that no one who serves our country should have to fight for a job once they return home,” Mrs. Obama said in the statement. “Wal-Mart is setting a groundbreaking example for the private sector to follow.”