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Walmart providing jobs for veterans

Published 3:42pm Tuesday, January 22, 2013

As the nation’s economy continues to flounder, one retail giant has put on the proverbial cape and tights to save the day.

It’s not a bird.

It’s not a plane.

It’s … Walmart?

Walmart Stores Inc., the largest retailer in the world with a workforce large enough to fill the state of Wyoming two times over, revealed last week plans to help boost the U.S. economy, and offer some relief to military veterans in the process.

The plan includes hiring more than 100,000 veterans who apply for a job within a year of their honorable discharge.  The process will continue throughout the next five years, starting on Memorial Day.

Walmart USA CEO Bill Simon said that veterans will be hired for a variety of positions, regardless of whether that’s in retail or a managerial role.

“Not every returning veteran wants to work in retail,” Simon said in a speech to the National Retail Federation. “But every veteran who does will have a place to go.”

Greenville Supercenter Site Manager James Packer supports the new initiative.

“It’s right on line with what we need to do to help,” Packer said. “We’re the world’s largest retailer and the biggest private employer in the United States, and we need to reach out and help in any way that we can.”

While Packer isn’t sure how much Walmart can help with the economic crisis, the decision to aid valued members of the community is one that he deems worthy of pursuing.

“We have several people who have served in the military, and we currently have a national guard employee out on leave right now,” Packer said. “Everybody has a responsibility to look at each other and ask, ‘What can I do to help?’  It’s one of our moral expectations.”

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