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Walmart guaranteeing jobs to any military veteran, 7K hired in Pa.

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If you are an honorably discharged U.S. veteran, Walmart has a guaranteed job for you within its company, the chain says.

Walmart this week is celebrating the sixth anniversary of its “Welcome Home” program, established in 2013 and enhanced in 2015. Since its inception, the program has hired 226,000 veterans nationally, including 7,794 in Pennsylvania and 2,341 in New Jersey. There is a goal to hire 250,000 military veterans by 2020, said Gary Profit, senior director of military programs for Walmart.

Profit said in a statement the chain’s veterans bring “strong value systems and capable leadership” to the business.

“Our military veteran associates are talented and dedicated, and they make us better,” he said. “As a veteran myself, I am proud that Walmart offers career programs for veterans and military families: If you serve and sacrifice for your country, you shouldn’t have to fight for a job at home.”

Former Marine Corporal Ben Badali started working for Walmart in 2016 and currently serves as asset protection associate at the Butler, Butler County Walmart Supercenter. He said when he returned to civilian life after service, he was in search of an employer that valued the skill set he acquired in the military.

Badali added he found room for growth at Walmart and the job has turned into a career.

“When an employer like Walmart makes a commitment to support veterans, it has a big impact,” he said.

The company in November 2018 also announced it would be giving hiring preference to military spouses, becoming one of the largest companies nationally to make the commitment.

There are more than 500,000 active duty military spouses nationally. While the U.S. jobless rate hovers at 4 percent, military spouses face a 26 percent unemployment rate and a 25 percent wage gap compared to their civilian counterparts, according to the Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership.

To date, the “Military Spouse Career Connection” initiative has hired nearly 6,000 military spouses nationally, Profit said.

Additionally, the Walmart Foundation recently provided a $1 million grant to help the nonprofit organization, Hire Heroes USA, to support its efforts in expanding programs, improve data collection and reporting. A portion of that funding will support a program manager for the “Hire Heroes’ Serving Spouses” program, a career coaching program tailored specifically to military spouses who face unique barriers in employment. These challenges include frequent moving, childcare obstacles when a spouse is deployed; and having to re-obtain certifications that don’t transfer from state to state.

Walmart’s support for veterans also includes partnering with other nonprofit organizations, such as Veterans Breakfast Club.

Pamela Sroka-Holzmann may be reached at pholzmann@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @pamholzmann. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.





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