Facing a staggering unemployment rate of over 20 percent, much higher than the national average, young veterans seeking work will soon have a new opportunity. Beginning this Memorial Day, Wal-Mart will be hiring every veteran who wants a job, under the conditions that they have left the military within the past year and were not dishonorably discharged. Under the new program, which will run for five years, Wal-Mart hopes to hire over 100,000 veterans.
Wal-Mart isn’t the only corporation using its growth for good. Last summer, TiVO launched an internship program to help returning vets adjust to the workplace while honing their professional skills. In October, General Electric unveiled an initiative dedicated to hiring veterans, and a coalition of 76 companies (including J.P. Morgan and Lockheed Martin) set the goal to hire 100,000 former servicemen and women by 2020.
Perhaps even more inspiring are the ways ordinary Americans—not large corporations—are doing what they can to show their gratitude for our veterans. For example, retiree Kathie Wolin spends the little money she has to prepare care packages for troops abroad; a husband and wife show their thanks by cooking up BBQ at military bases.
For a more personal look at who some of these unemployed veterans may be, our June feature, “You’re Welcome, America. Now Hire Us,” offers five touching portraits of returning veterans struggling to find jobs.
Photo credit: © Jupiterimages/Creatas/Thinkstock