BELLEVILLE, Ill., Nov. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Walmart Foundation today announced a two-year $750,000 grant to Veterans Green Jobs. With this funding, Veterans Green Jobs will connect with 1,000 veterans through its training and employment initiatives and place many of those veterans into full-time green sector jobs. This is the latest commitment under the Walmart Foundation's recently announced five-year, $20 million giving initiative aimed at combating the high veteran unemployment rate.
The grant was announced during a "Hiring our Heroes" veterans job fair in Belleville, Illinois, one of 100 job fairs Walmart has sponsored through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for recently returned veterans is 12 percent.
"The idea that our nation's heroes are being forced to transition from the frontlines to the unemployment line is one of the worst realities we can imagine," said retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Gary Profit, senior director of military programs at Walmart. "Through Walmart's support of Veterans Green Jobs, our partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other outreach, we're doing our part to ensure our veterans have the support they need and the career opportunities they deserve."
"Walmart is at the forefront of Fortune 500 companies hiring returning veterans and assisting organizations in reversing the high rates of joblessness among our veteran population," said Dr. Mit Parsons, Veterans Green Jobs' co-founder and board chairman, and a U.S. Army veteran. "Veterans Green Jobs is thankful for the partnership we have forged with Walmart in leveraging career opportunities that are focused on environmental sustainability. We share with this strategic partner a commitment to making veteran employment happen with 'boots on the ground' – one veteran at a time."
Since 2009, Walmart has donated more than $1 million to Veterans Green Jobs, resulting in training and jobs for more than 350 veterans.
For more on Walmart's commitment to veterans, please visit: www.walmartstores.com/veterans. For more information on veterans and transitioning military career opportunities, please visit www.walmartcareerswithamission.com.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at over 9,700 retail units under 69 different banners in 28 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419 billion, Walmart employs 2.1 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://walmartstores.com and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.
About Veterans Green Jobs
Veterans Green Jobs (VGJ) is a national 501 (c) (3) nonprofit whose mission is to engage, transition and connect military veterans with meaningful employment opportunities that serve our communities and environment. Under a contract with the Colorado Governor's Energy Office, Veterans Green Jobs weatherizes income-qualified homes in Colorado. In partnership with conservation corps and land management agencies, the organization helps veterans get skills and training in outdoor conservation and natural resource management in eight western U.S. states. VGJ is currently creating an outreach, recruitment and placement program that will connect veterans with green industry employers and certified training programs. The nonprofit's Go Green Warehouse is a discount home improvement materials store whose sales proceeds support job and training programs for military veterans. See www.veteransgreenjobs.org for more information.