TAMPA, Fla., July 1, 2020 – Tampa resident Kenneth Santiago spent more than 20 years in the Air Force in international relations and as a linguist. Born in Brooklyn, NY, he retired from the military after traveling the world and joined Walmart as an hourly customer host in 2017. Within three years of joining the company, he was promoted to a salaried position on the management team.
“It’s very important for veterans to have a place to fall back on after retiring from the military,” said Santiago, an Air Force veteran and assistant manager at the Walmart on West Gandy Boulevard in Tampa. “If you can transition to a place where you fit in and find your second family, it gives veterans an opportunity to prosper. What better place to have another career than at Walmart?”
Santiago is one of thousands of veterans who has found a home with Walmart since the company introduced the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment (VWHC) in 2013, setting its goal of hiring 250,000 new veteran associates by 2020.
Today, Walmart announced it achieved the hiring goal with more than 265,000 veteran associate hires, including more than 16,700 in Florida.
“We’re proud of our ability to present opportunities to the talented service members who’ve honorably served our country,” said Brynt Parmeter, senior director for Walmart Military Programs. “This is such an important time for us. Our company is committed to building relationships across this community to advance and improve both economic opportunity and overall well-being.
“As we look ahead, we will find new ways to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful futures through employment, entrepreneurship, learning, and health and wellness initiatives,” he added.
First announced on Memorial Day 2013, the VWHC’s initial goal was hiring 100,000 veterans by the end of 2018. Two years later, the company expanded that goal to 250,000 by the end of 2020.
On Veterans Day 2018, recognizing the need to broaden employment opportunities for military families, Walmart introduced the Military Spouses Career Connection. To date, the company has hired more than 31,000 associates and continues offering any military spouse hiring preference when applying for a job.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have a long history of supporting veterans, service members and their families. Since 2011, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have invested more than $40 million in programs that support job training, education and innovative public/private community-based initiatives for veterans and military families.
For more information about Walmart’s commitment to veterans, service members and military families, please visit: http://www.walmartcareerswithamission.com/ or http://corporate.walmart.com/global-responsibility/veterans-military-families/ and follow Walmart on Twitter @WalmartToday and @WalmartOrg.
About Walmart in Florida
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online and through their mobile devices. In Florida, we serve customers at 384 retail units and online through Walmart Online Grocery, Walmart.com and our family of brands. We are proud to employ 106,908 associates in Florida. Walmart supports local businesses, spending $7.4 billion with Florida suppliers in FYE20 and supporting 87,793 Florida supplier jobs. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. In FYE20, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation contributed more than $81 million in cash and in-kind donations to local nonprofits in Florida. Learn more at http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.