Walmart Provides $1M to Hire Heroes USA
Just before Independence Day, the Walmart Foundation is awarding a $1 million grant to Hire Heroes USA, aiding the national nonprofit’s efforts to help more military veterans find meaningful employment. The grant comes as Hire Heroes USA launches a new job board and virtual career fairs for veterans seeking work.
“Veterans have unique and valued skill sets, such as leadership, creativity and problem solving, making them highly marketable job candidates,” noted Brian Stann, president and CEO of Alpharetta, Ga.-based Hire Heroes USA and a Marine Corps combat veteran. “Support from organizations like the Walmart Foundation make it possible for us to continue to lead the way in veteran hiring through innovation, focus and hard work. We’ve seen a 20 percent increase in veterans seeking our services this year alone, so the impact of this grant is immediate and far-reaching. Our 17,000 hires to date have generated an estimated economic impact of $205 million in the veteran space, but we know our work isn’t done.”
“As the backbone of our nation, veterans are highly valuable to civilian employers,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) Gary Profit, senior director of military programs at Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart. “The Walmart Foundation is proud to stand behind Hire Heroes USA to celebrate the work they do for our local communities and workforces.”
To mark the occasion of the grant, Walmart is hosting a June 27 interactive dessert reception on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., featuring celebrity chef Robert Irvine, a veteran of the Royal Navy, who will discuss the need to support veterans transitioning to civilian careers and engage with U.S. senators, congressional staff and other attendees by leading dessert station challenges and performing emcee duties at the reception.
The British-born Irvine, host of Food Network’s “Restaurant Impossible,” established the Robert Irvine Foundation to support military personnel and their families, and last year became the first celebrity chef to open a restaurant at the Pentagon. He has also been designated an Honorary Chief Petty Officer by the U.S. Navy.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, more than 200,000 men and women serving in the military transitioned to civilian life in 2016. In the same year, there were more than 450,000 unemployed veterans in the United States, 40 percent of whom were ages 18-44, data from the Department of Labor show.