Working from the inside out, Wal-Mart announced that beginning Memorial Day 2013, it will "offer a job to any honorably discharged veteran in his or her first 12 months off active duty. Most of these jobs will be in Wal-Mart stores and clubs, and some will be in distribution centers and the Home Office." The company currently employes 2.2 million associates worldwide, with 1.4 million in the U.S.
Already, Wal-Mart says it believes it is "the largest private employer of veterans in the country." Now, the company believes it can absorb more than 100,000 veterans over the next five years.
Wal-Mart CEO Bill Simon noted in a company press release that "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. There is a seriousness and sense of purpose that the military instills, and we need it today more than ever."
In the same press release in which it announced the veterans move, Wal-Mart announced an intention to put more Americans to work with a new buy-American policy. Over the next 10 years, the company says it intends to increase spending on U.S.-made products by $50 billion -- buying more of the goods it already buys here, and also "helping to onshore U.S. production in high potential areas like textiles, furniture and higher-end appliances."
The company furthermore committed to signing "longer term purchase agreements" with manufacturers in the U.S., to give its suppliers "more certainty."