Human Resources and Retail

Walmart moves veterans to front of jobs line at 117 Michigan stores

January 16, 2013
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Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan can count on Walmart for a job.

The company announced that it plans to hire 100,000 veterans over the course of the next five years. It also said it plans to increase its U.S. spending by $50 billion during the next 10 years.

Any veteran who has received an honorable discharge and is within the first 12 months off of active duty is eligible for the program, which will move them to the front of the applicant line. Hiring for full- and part-time positions will take place across the country, and most of the positions will be in its retail stores and clubs, with some jobs also available in distribution centers and the company’s headquarters in Arkansas.

Walmart has 117 retail stores in Michigan and employs 32,080 associates in the state. It also has one distribution center.

According to Brooke Buchanan, director of sustainability communications for the company, Walmart already employs 100,000 veterans and this program will double those numbers. Additionally, G.I. Jobs has ranked Walmart as one of its Top 100 Military-Friendly Employers.

Interested veterans can find information about the program and job openings at, which is a resource specifically for veterans. The program will begin on Memorial Day.

The announcement was part of a larger commitment that the company is making to create jobs and help jumpstart what it called an economic renewal in the United States.

“At the heart of our national conversation today is one issue: creating jobs to grow the economy,” said Bill Simon, president and CEO of U.S. Walmart. “My message to you today is that the time for waiting is over. Fixing this problem will take all of us doing our part — business, government, labor, nonprofits and private citizens. And the retail industry has to lead.”

In addition to jobs for veterans, Walmart also plans to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S. products over the next 10 years and will help its part-time employees transition into full-time opportunities as available.

The company said in a statement it would increase U.S. manufacturing on two fronts, “by increasing what it already buys here — in categories like sporting goods, apparel basics, storage products, games, and paper products — and by helping to onshore U.S. production in high potential areas like textiles, furniture and higher-end appliances.”

In Michigan, Walmart spent $4.2 billion in 2012 with suppliers, and supplier jobs supported 62,852 individuals, according to statistics provided on the company’s webpage for the state.

The company said it is meeting with its suppliers on domestic manufacturing and is creating a senior team that will lead the effort for the company.

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