By Brynt Parmeter, Senior Director, Military & STEM Programs, Walmart
Walmart has a rich history of supporting our veterans over the years, starting with our first veteran, founder Sam Walton. Earlier this year, we announced that we had achieved our Veteran’s Welcome Home Commitment of 250,000 veterans hired since 2013. To date, we’ve hired over 320,000 veterans and military spouses since the beginning of that commitment, and our focus on supporting and hiring veterans only continues.
As a veteran myself, I feel a sense of excitement for what is coming. In 2021 and beyond, we’re planning to advance veteran and military spouse economic opportunity and well-being through initiatives spanning across four focus areas including employment, learning, entrepreneurship, and health & wellness. Here are some of our new focus areas for the year ahead:
- Launching the Find-a-Future Platform: Launching early next year, this new platform will guide military-related prospects through an audit of their current skills, experience and education. It will foster conversations about a wide range of future possibilities and aspirations and then help teach them how to build a road map and the connections to achieve their goals.
- Continued access to $1 a day education: We continue to offer veterans, and all frontline associates, the opportunity to work at Walmart and complete a debt-free education through our Live Better U program. This enables veterans to pass along service-related educational benefits with their families, while also upskilling for the future of work in a short amount of time.
- Entrepreneurship: Veteran-owned businesses (VOBs) offer a tremendous opportunity to empower veterans and to fuel economic growth. By connecting veteran and military spouse-owned businesses with organizations, resources and information we are helping empower them to launch their products or bring their ideas to life.
- Increasing Access to Health Care: Walmart is increasing access to health care for veterans through telehealth when a VA facility is not easily accessible. In addition to great health care, we are also focused on providing job opportunities for individuals well-suited for placement in the health care industry.
- Support from other veteran associates: At Walmart, we have several Associate Resource Groups (ARGs) focused on creating communities of support. Our SERVES ARG for veterans, military families, and allies is the first of our Walmart ARGs that has expanded to include our veteran associates working in our stores, clubs, DCs and corporate offices. The SERVES leadership teams at the Home Office, Walmart U.S., Sam’s Club, and the Supply Chain are organizing and preparing for a variety of initiatives related to recruiting, onboarding, learning, leadership development, and supporting each other and our communities.
At Walmart, the future for veterans and military spouses is bright. I feel honored to be on this journey and look forward to seeing the progress we will continue to make together. In my opinion, one of the most meaningful ways to thank a veteran for their service is to give them the opportunity to continue to serve a mission – long after they have served their country. We are aiming to do just that. Happy Veterans Day!