Walmart newest hiring initiative ensures military spouses have employment longevity

Kaylah Jackson
November 28, 2018 - 2:07 pm

© Jeremy Long-USA TODAY Sports

Our Employer of the Week series features one company each week that has made a commitment to hiring and supporting veterans. This week’s employer is Walmart

While Luz Opacki's husband retired from the U.S. Army18 years ago, she says she still feels like an active duty spouse, but thanks to Walmart, she’s been able to have consistent work throughout both of their careers.

“I always had a family. I was able to transfer with the company everywhere my husband was deployed. It was a piece of mind that I didn’t have to worry about a job,” said Opacki.

The type of environment that Walmart cultivates for its military spouse employee has recently got a boost, as the company established the Military Spouse Career Connection.

“We are first and foremost doing this because these are very talented people that we want to join our team,” said Gary Profit, retired Army Brigadier General and senior director of Military Programs at Walmart. “In this case, we’ve been able to marry it with our civic and social responsibility to lead with respect to trying to address the disproportion unemployment faced by military spouses in today’s economy.”

The Military Spouse Career Connection, which is a new initiative to recruit and hire military spouses pairs with their Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, a goal of hiring 250,000 veterans by 2020.

Opacki is a personnel coordinator for a Walmart store Texas and says she’s stayed with the company for this many years because of having the safety net of keeping her job through countless moves. 

“With this new commitment, I think it’s a great opportunity for military spouses to come aboard and see how many benefits we have as a company and they can follow their dreams,” said Opacki.

Through Walmart's online portal, military spouses can self-identify by sharing their Uniformed Services Identification Card information, allowing them to receive preference in the hiring process. 

But the initiative is not only about a hiring preference, it's also about supporting the spouse in their career development. Like Opacki, who has worked in departments from customer service to supervisory positions, this initiative allows spouses to excel and progress within the company.

“These are people that have exactly the same value systems as their uniformed spouses have, they have many of the same knowledge, skills, and abilities and a whole range of experiences that often strip their civilian counterparts. Why wouldn’t we want to add this very talented, very diverse group to this pipeline," said Profit.

Thanks to Walmart’s nationwide footprint and nature of this new commitment, they can ensure as the spouses move coast to coast, they can continue their employment with a culture that cares and values their sacrifice.

Opacki says, "military spouses leave their families, friends and jobs and careers behind to follow their spouse. What Walmart is doing right now is supporting that separation.”

For more information about the Military Spouse Career Connection and how Walmart supports military families, visit their webpage.

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