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Meijer 1st Retailer to Earn Gold-Level Honor as Veteran-Friendly Employer

MVAA recognizes grocer for its commitment to hiring, retaining and supporting military veterans
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Meijer 1st Retailer to Earn Gold-Level Honor as Veteran-Friendly Employer
Meijer joins the prestigious top 3% of Michigan Veteran-Friendly Employers to receive Gold designation.

Providing valuable job skills and abilities, Meijer has achieved Gold-level status as a Veteran-Friendly Employer (VFE) from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) for its commitment to hiring, retaining and supporting military veterans.

The Midwestern grocer is the first retailer to earn the MVAA's prestigious Gold-level honor as a VFE and is only the 20th to receive Gold-level status, an achievement reached by just 3% of the more than 532 Michigan VFEs.

"Given the numerous Michigan team members identifying as veteran or active-duty service men and women, this recognition means a lot to us," said Tim Williams, VP of diversity and inclusion at Meijer. "Our focus is not just on hiring those who served, but also offering a workplace that values the unique strengths their service provides and offers the resources they need to thrive."

One such resource is mVets, the retailer's team member affinity group devoted to creating a safe space for service members, veterans and their allies to build community and share their voices and experiences. Meijer mVets Co-Lead, Director of Food Safety & Quality Compliance and current Army Reserve Col. Thomas McMahan played a significant role in building the submission describing the retailer's commitment to serving Meijer military service members, veterans and their families that secured the retailer's Gold-level VFE certification.

"The work mVets is doing is important to our team members," said McMahan, who has served in the U.S. Army Reserve for more than 30 years. "Not only are we supporting active and veteran service members and their families, but we're also helping to build an environment of education and understanding around what it means to have served."

MVAA, the state's central coordinating agency for Michigan's more than 550,000 veterans, launched the VFE program eight years ago to support, recognize and enhance employers' veteran-centric initiatives. Starting with just 10 companies in 2014, the VFE program has grown to include 532 employers – 20 Gold, 57 Silver and 455 Bronze.

Through the VFE program, employers are certified Bronze, Silver or Gold depending on their commitment to recruiting, training and retaining veterans. Bronze-Level Employers must commit to hiring a specific number of veterans, among other requirements, while Silver-Level Employers must meet all Bronze requirements and implement a certain number of veteran-friendly programs such as on-the-job training.

Gold-Level VFEs must meet all Bronze and Silver requirements, show that they retain a significant number of veteran employees over a 12-month period, and implement a set number of veteran-centric programs.

Privately owned Meijer operates more than 260 supercenters and grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company is No. 20 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food retailers in North America.

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