BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart is launching a new initiative to help the 250,000 members of the military transitioning back to civilian life in the United States each year.
The program, called Greenlight a Vet, aims to bring recognition to the veterans transitioning back to school, jobs and neighborhoods. Walmart is encouraging everyone to participate by showing their support using a “visible symbol,” saying even though we don't always know who are vets are when they aren't wearing uniforms, we should still show them support.
“The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University is proud to be a part of Walmart’s campaign to Greenlight A Vet in support of those who have served in the military and their families,” said Dr. Mike Haynie, executive director of the IVMF and vice chancellor at Syracuse University. “Participating in a national movement, designed to recognize those who have worn our nation’s uniform as valued, contributing members of our communities, is our way of encouraging all Americans to meaningfully engage with veterans and their families and by so doing, appreciate them as respected civic assets.”
Walmart is committed to greenlighting veterans, including hiring 250,000 veterans by 2020 through its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment. As part of this effort, Walmart proudly greenlighted the company’s 100,000th veteran hire this past month.
While a job is a vital piece of transitioning from military to civilian life for a veteran, it also takes a coordinated, multi-sector effort to create healthy transitions to civilian life. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed $20 million in grants to organizations that provide veteran job training, education and community-based collaboration.
As part of this pledge, the Walmart Foundation provided donations to organizations focused specifically on transitioning veterans:
A $500,000 grant to Hire Heroes USA (Hire Heroes) to help increase their capacity. Hire Heroes has built a national reputation of excellence for their success at helping unemployed veterans find jobs.
A $190,000 grant to Blue Star Families for a tech-train-to-hire project that will train military spouses for high demand and high growth careers in technology. This program speaks to the heart of one of the greatest challenge to military life, which is 58 percent unemployment and underemployment among military families.
“Through continued, collaborative work with our nonprofit partners, we greenlight innovative public/private community-based initiatives that address the navigation challenges many of our veterans face when returning to the civilian workforce and their communities,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation. “There is no better tribute to our men and women who serve than recognizing the value of their contributions and fully engaging them in our communities and workforce when they return home.”