SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif- Walmart is looking at a new initiative to hire unemployed veterans. Walmart official's said the program will create 100-thousand job opportunities for veterans over five years.
Job experts said this is a great thing for veterans because the job market is already so difficult right now. They said it's a struggle coming back into the workforce after leaving the military because it's a completely different world.
Ricky Pettiford has been retired from the United States army since 1985, and said finding work whether it be a year or 20 years after serving your country is difficult. "It's a struggle because a vet doesn't really know what he wants to do or what direction to go in," said Pettiford.
Nationally the unemployment rate for veterans is at 7.8 percent, and even higher for Iraq and Afghanistan vets, hovering at 10.8 percent. Part of Walmarts plan and criteria is hiring veterans who honorably left the military in the last year. Although Pettiford doesn't fit that criteria, he believes this push could be helpful to him anyway as Walmart said it already employs more veterans than any other private employer. "Praise god, that's a blessing for me, to be able to do that, I would just ask for the opportunity to do that," said Pettiford.
Kathy Marcove, the employment services manager of one-stop career services said its good timing for this hiring commitment. "Anything that can be done to assist veterans coming back at this crucial time, it's a very challenging job market and there are hopeful signs but people still continue to struggle with the sluggish job market," said Marcove.
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