The Walton family in Bentonville, Arkansas still own the majority of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The company has grown to become the largest retailer in the world with almost 9,000 locations and 2.2 million employees (1.4 million here in the US). They are the world’s third largest public corporation and the largest private employer in the world. Their annual gross income for 2012 was just under $450 billion dollars. Their subdivisions include Sam’s Club, Walmex, Asda and Seiyu Group.
Over the past few years, Wal-Mart has received some scathing media coverage, mostly about how they discriminate against women in management and how they treat their employees by not providing benefits or enough hours to qualify for benefits. Earlier this week they were the target of reports that they had halted all orders for ammunition for their sporting goods departments because of the impending gun control laws from President Obama. However, the company quickly countered those reports by publicly saying that it is business as usual and they intend to continue supplying their customers’ needs.
In the wake of all of the negative publicity Wal-Mart receives, I thought I would share a positive story for a change. Bill Simon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced at the National Retail Federation convention in New York that company plans on hiring at least 100,000 veterans over the next five years. Anyone who has been honorably discharged from the military within the past 12 months will be given a serious consideration for employment in their retail and warehouse stores as well as in their distribution centers.
Simon told the audience:
“Let’s be clear; hiring a veteran can be one of the best decisions any of us can make. Veterans have a record of performance under pressure. They’re quick learners, and they’re team players. These 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.”
Wal-Mart executives have been in communication with the Obama administration on their plans to hire veterans. In response, the administration will be working with the Departments of Defense and Veteran Affairs as well as other major employers in an effort to get more companies involved in hiring and training America’s military personnel upon their arrival back into civilian life.
For once, I have to give Wal-Mart a big thumbs up for willing to help those who defend us adapt back into the workforce. Well done Wal-Mart.