Walmart announced an ambitious plan today to hire any veteran who wants a job, as long as they have left the military in the past year and did not receive a dishonorable discharge. Officials at Walmart said at a press conference that the program, which begins on Memorial Day, could lead to the chain hiring more than 100,000 employees over the next five years.
The retail chain’s announcement also earned a positive mention from the White House. “We all believe that no one who serves our country should have to fight for a job once they return home. Walmart is setting a groundbreaking example for the private sector to follow,” Michelle Obama said in a statement. Walmart also benefits: The company has been facing ongoing labor disputes, and is aggressively promoting their philanthropic efforts. Finding employment for returning veterans is an ongoing concern; many military recruits come from regions disproportionately hit by the jobs slowdown.