Groundbreaking grant in the veteran charitable space to provide employment and income support to rural veterans and establish joint DEI Council to guide programming and funding
ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Top-rated veteran and military service organizations Hire Heroes USA and Operation Homefront were awarded a nearly $1 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to provide much-needed career and financial assistance to veterans of color and those living in rural communities. As part of the grant, the CEOs of Hire Heroes USA and Operation Homefront are also leading the effort to develop a diversity, equity and inclusion council that will focus on improving outcomes for veterans of color and an internship program to increase the diversity of leaders in the nonprofit space. This volunteer-led council will be chaired by Alicin Williamson, Chief Inclusion Officer at Endeavor, Inc.
Hire Heroes USA’s rigorous data collection and research show clients of color experience more roadblocks to steady employment and are paid, on average, less than white job seekers. In 2020, clients of color earned $5,102 less than white job seekers. Hire Heroes USA and Operation Homefront have been committed to improving outcomes for clients from diverse populations since their founding but are thrilled to see how they can extend their impact to create life-changing outcomes in our nation’s underserved populations.
“Those that have served our country deserve our utmost gratitude, as well as the tools to thrive in the next chapters of their lives and careers,” said Alicin Williamson. “Operation Homefront and Hire Heroes USA are vital organizations dedicated to fueling the transition back to civilian life, and I am honored to be able to play a role in supporting that critical mission.”
This partnership will also improve economic and professional outcomes for veterans through Hire Heroes USA’s employment support and Operation Homefront’s critical financial assistance, resources greatly needed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Operation Homefront and Hire Heroes USA are conducting targeted outreach to communities identified through Walmart’s America at Work reportto increase services available in these areas and help these clients achieve financial independence.
“All service members, veterans and military spouses deserve our gratitude and an equal opportunity for a bright future,” said Andrew Sandoe, Hire Heroes USA CEO. “Thanks to the Walmart Foundation, we will be able to connect those in need with free career resources that are proven to lead to better outcomes. We are excited to team up with Operation Homefront because of the great work they do for our communities. We know we are all stronger together.”
“Military service requires courage and commitment and we, as a grateful nation, need to be ready to support this very deserving group of our fellow citizens as they transition back into their civilian communities,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray Jr., President and CEO of Operation Homefront. “We are proud to be partnered with Hire Heroes USA to implement the Walmart Foundation’s meaningful mandate to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion as we seek to serve those who have done so much to serve all of us.”
Hire Heroes USA is committed to empowering all clients through career coaching, resume development, LinkedIn profile assistance, industry-specific mentorship, and virtual workshops all at no cost to the client. By helping military families avoid a financial crisis, Operation Homefront works to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they may thrive in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.
“The Walmart Foundation is proud to build on our long-term support for Hire Heroes and Operation Homefront, especially as they put diversity, equity and inclusion at the center of their efforts to help our nation’s heroes,” said Gayatri Agnew, senior director of opportunity for Walmart.org. “Their work to create quality career and financial opportunities for veterans and military families in rural and underserved communities, including those identified in Walmart’s America at Work report, will be crucial as COVID-19 recovery continues.”
Walmart.org represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By focusing where the business has unique strengths, Walmart.org works to tackle key social and environmental issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 26 countries, employs more than 2.2 million associates and does business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Walmart.org is helping people live better by supporting programs to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, advance equity, address hunger, build inclusive economic opportunity for people in supply chains, protect and restore nature, reduce waste and emissions, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit www.walmart.org or connect on Twitter @Walmartorg.
About Hire Heroes USA
Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit organization that empowers US military members, veterans and spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. We offer personalized one-on-one coaching, professionally revised resumes, mentoring, workshops, a job board, career fairs and more, to tens of thousands of job-seeking veterans and military spouses annually. Funded exclusively through public donations and private grants, we provide our services at no cost to clients.
Since Hire Heroes USA’s founding, more than 52,000 Hire Heroes clients have found success in their job search. All Hire Heroes services are being offered online or over the phone during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes our volunteer services, which allow professionals to mentor and guide clients during their job search. Hire Heroes USA prioritizes transparency, earning a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and the GuideStar Platinum Seal. For more information about our organization, visit hireheroesusa.org.
About Operation Homefront
Founded in 2002, Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, over 90 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing, and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, visit OperationHomefront.org.