NEW YORK - Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer and the nation's largest private employer, is making a pledge to hire every veteran who wants a job.
The plan is expected to be announced as part of an address delivered in New York on Wednesday at the annual retail industry convention by Bill Simon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart's namesake U.S. business.
The company says it projects it will hire more than 100,000 veterans in the next five years. Honorably discharged veterans will have a "place to go," says Wal-Mart's Simon. The hiring pledge covers veterans within 12 months of leaving active duty.
For about 60 Indiana National Guard troops leaving for Kuwait on Tuesday, Wal-Mart's commitment is welcome news.
"We're guaranteed a job from our current employers, but right now, we have so many that are currently unemployed, they volunteered for this mission just to be employed. So, I think it's a great opportunity," said Stephanie Bowe with the Indiana National Guard.
Joe Frank with Indiana Workforce Development is hopeful the agreement will open doors for veterans.
"I think that's phenomenal. Unemployment is so high with military returning," he said. "Anything that helps veterans getting and retaining employment is much appreciated."
The Indiana National Guard works with veterans to help them advance in their careers.
"All those little skills, they do translate," said Capt. Catalina Carrasco. "Sometimes they don't know how to put it together in a resume, and sometimes a civilian employer doesn't realize those skills are transferrable."
Wal-Mart which also operates Sam's Clubs, employs more than 1.4 million workers in the U.S.