Over the next five years, Walmart, the world's biggest retailer and the nation's largest private employer, plans to hire more than 100,000 veterans, The Associated Press (AP) reports. The three-part plan, which also includes spending $50 billion on American-made merchandise and gives more part-time employees full-time positions, is designed to jumpstart the sluggish U.S. economy.
While many Americans are still struggling to find jobs, veterans have been among those hit hardest by the recession. Currently, the national unemployment rate stands at 7.8%, but for veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan, this figure has reached 10.8%, the AP reports.
Walmart plans to reduce this high unemployment rate by offering jobs to all veterans who have been honorably discharged in the first 12 months after active duty. The program will begin on Memorial Day.
Bill Simon, president and chief executive officer of Walmart's U.S. business, said he feels veterans will be a valuable asset to the store's workforce. As a former member of the Navy, Simon said veterans have "a record of performance under pressure" while also being "quick learners."
In fact, these are the same skills that have made veterans attractive candidates at business schools across the country, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.