“Having the world’s biggest retailer take-on one of the biggest challenges facing veterans and their families—unemployment—will undoubtedly help end this national crisis,” said Bill Lawson, U.S. Army veteran and national president of Paralyzed Veterans of America. “We also believe that Walmart could play a vital role in addressing perhaps the most difficult part of the veterans’ unemployment challenge—getting our veterans with disabilities back to work.”
With an unemployment rate for disabled veterans estimated to be three to eight times higher than the national unemployment rate, Paralyzed Veterans created its PAVE program (Paving Access for Veterans Employment)—which assists hard-to-place veterans secure good jobs. This unique public-private partnership involves all sectors in finding sustainable solutions to veterans’ unemployment. PAVE career counselors located throughout the country connect directly with injured veterans at VA spinal cord injury centers and empower them with the tools they need to secure good careers. At the same time, PAVE counselors directly engage employers and educate them about the benefits of hiring veterans with disabilities.
The PAVE program is currently working with more than 1,600 clients and this number is growing every day. To date, the program has secured careers for close to 500 hard-to-place veterans, and partnered with more than 450 employers including well-known brands such as Walgreens, Best Buy and Microsoft.
“We stand ready to help Walmart and any other business out there that’s looking to hire veterans,” Lawson added.
Paralyzed Veterans of America was founded by a group of seriously injured American heroes from the “Greatest Generation” of World War II. They created a nonprofit organization to meet the challenges that they faced back in the 1940s — from a medical community not ready to treat them to an inaccessible world. For more than 66 years, Paralyzed Veterans’ national office and its 34 chapters across the nation have been making America a better place for all veterans and people with disabilities. (www.pva.org)