Walmart and Sam's Club have announced a new commitment to hire veterans, to help part-time employees move into full-time jobs and to promote American manufacturing.
Walmart U.S. President and CEO Bill Simon spoke at the National Retail Federation's annual show about a new initiative in both stores to hire veterans whe they come off active duty.
The full text of Simon's speech and a video are available on the Walmart corporate website.
Under the new hiring program, which starts on Memorial Day, Walmart will offer employment to vets who have been honorably discharged and are in their first year following active duty. Walmart could employee as many as 100,000 vets in stores, distribution centers and offices over the next five years, Simon said.
“Veterans have a record of performance under pressure. They’re quick learners and team players. They are leaders with discipline, training, and a passion for service," Simon said. "There is a seriousness and sense of purpose that the military instills, and we need it today more than ever.”
Simon also spoke about how the company plans to help out part-time workers by helping them transition to full-time.
“We will make sure part-time associates have full visibility into full-time job openings in their stores and nearby stores, and that they always have first shot at those jobs. We will also bring more transparency to our scheduling system so part-time workers can choose more hours for themselves,” he said.
Simon also spoke about the "urban legend" that Walmart relies heavily on foreign products. He announced that Walmart would spend $50 billion on American products over the next ten years, while facilitating manufacturing in the U.S.
"Walmart and Sam’s Club will grow U.S. manufacturing on two fronts: by increasing what we already buy here – in categories like sporting goods, apparel basics, storage products, games, and paper products. And by helping on-shore U.S. production in high potential areas like textiles, furniture, pet supplies, some outdoor categories, and higher end appliances," Simon said.