CSG Associates Strive to Bolster Employment Among Veterans
By Hannah Smith, CSG Development Associate
The U.S. military discharges 160,000 active service members and 110,000 Reserve and National Guard members each year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
About 32,000 of those veterans will join the ranks of nearly 1 million veterans already unemployed. For young, male veterans—ages 18-24—the picture is even bleaker: In 2011, one out of every three was looking for work, almost double the unemployment rate of their non-veteran peers.
In response, employers are finding ways to match veterans with employment opportunities, and many of The Council of State Governments’ Associate members are working to hire veterans.
In spring 2013, Walmart pledged to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years. The plan stems from President/CEO Bill Simon’s deep appreciation of veterans. Simon is a former naval officer and knows firsthand the difficulties of finding employment after deployment.
Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, already employs more than 100,000 veterans. The company is anxious to double that by 2018.
“Walmart is hiring veterans because it is just the right thing to do. Men and women who fight for our country should never have to fight for a job,” said Joe Quinn, senior director of Corporate Affairs.
As of August 1, less than two months after initiation, Walmart had hired more than 3,000 veterans under the program, which began May 27. The program is active in stores in all 50 states. Other CSG Associate members have made similar announcements this year.
According to whitehouse.gov, United Parcel Service has committed to hire 25,000 veterans in the next five years, The Home Depot committed to hire 55,000 veterans in the next five years, and McDonald’s committed to hire 100,000 veterans in the next three years.
The International Franchise Association has launched the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, known as VetFran. The association developed the initiative to aid troops’ transition to civilian life. More than 580 franchise companies participate in the program across the United States.
Through VetFran, the franchise association created an initiative called Operation Enduring Opportunity, which plans to hire or recruit as franchise owners 80,000 veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors by the end of 2014.
The International Franchise Association also is partnering with Capitol One Corporation to participate in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring our Heroes program.
Steve Caldeira, president and CEO, has set his association on track to help veterans and their families.
“These relationships with Hiring Our Heroes and Capital One Corporation will further our collective goal of getting America's returning veterans back to work and reducing the veteran unemployment rate,” he said.
For more information on Walmart’s veteran hiring initiative, visit corporate.walmart.com. For more information of the International Franchise Association’s VetFran, visit vetfran.com.