Amazon Tuesday said it plans to hire 100,000 veterans and military spouses by 2024, continuing its commitment to hiring thousands of veterans for the online retail giant.
"a lot of the veterans that I talk to — many of them raise their hand and defend the Constitution, and then they come out [of service], and they don’t know what to do, but they love the idea that they could be in a role that has real long-term value," John Quintas, director of global military affairs at Amazon, told Fox Business of the hiring effort about the commitment.
Back in 2016, Amazon made a commitment to hiring 25,000 veterans over five years, but now, the company employs around 40,000 veterans or military spouses who work in a wide range of jobs for the company or for its cloud-computing subsidiary Amazon Web Services.
Currently, Amazon has 35,000 open jobs available to veterans. Pay starts at a minimum of $15 an hour and benefits are included.
"Amazon has an important role to play when in ensuring that our military veterans have access to good jobs and when I say good jobs, I mean competitive pay and benefits, as well as really robust education and training programs so that they can continue to grow their careers," said Quintas.
He added that veterans have "really strong team-building skills, leadership" and understand "selflessness," which Amazon seeks.
Beth Conlin, whose husband is an active-duty Army officer, is a senior program manager for the company’s military spouse program and said Amazon's biggest challenge in hiring veterans is in educating nonmilitary employees about the needs veterans or spouses face.
"There was a lot of early education to be done, and that doesn’t just happen at Amazon," she said. "There’s a lot of misunderstanding of what a military spouse is or having preconceived notions about what it means to be a military family, not fully understanding that the average service member makes only $46,000 a year."
There are also military-specific benefits for veterans and military spouses, including a technical apprenticeship program that helps veterans grow into new career opportunities.
Several other retail and tech giants are also hiring veterans. In 2011, JPMorgan Chase announced a partnership, the Veterans Jobs Mission with an initial 10 other companies to hire 100,000 veterans by the end of 2020.
Hundreds of other companies, including Amazon, have since joined the coalition, which has a goal of hiring 1 million veterans. Almost 700,000 veterans have been hired through the mission since 2011.
Walmart, which is not part of the coalition, committed to hiring 100,000 veterans over five years, starting in 2015, before later expanding its goal to 250,000. The company hired 265,000 veterans by 2020, promoting 44,000 to roles with more pay.
Home Depot is also not in the coalition, but employs about 35,000 veterans or military spouses, and has committed millions of dollars to help homeless veterans. In February, it pledged $220 million to open 20 mental health centers for veterans nationally.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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