Despite unemployment among veterans being at its lowest in eight years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterans from the Gulf War era continue to be under- or unemployed.
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Walmart announced it has hired 130,828 veterans since 2013, including nearly 8,000 in the State of Florida. Of those 130,828 veteran hires, 15,176 have been promoted to jobs with higher pay and greater responsibility, including nearly 900 in Florida, Walmart corporate executives said.
AT&T plans to hire an additional 10,000 veterans by 2020, bringing the company's total commitment to 20,000. More than 13% of AT&T new hires self-identify as a veteran, and in 2013 AT&T announced it would hire 10,000 veterans by 2018, but surpassed this commitment in 2015.
Making the transition
Looking a picture of him with his now three-year-old daughter, James Register, knows he made the right decision leaving the military after more than 20 years of services.
"That's exactly the main reason as to why I decided to give it up when I did," Register said.
Register was deployed eight times overseas and was last stationed at MacDill Airforce base. He retired three weeks ago.
"That's one of the biggest fears for anybody coming out of the military, the transition itself," he said.
Register was recently recruited by Walmart through their Welcome Home Commitment to work as a manager in their Davenport distribution center.
AT&T is also hiring veterans. Elio Hollinger, now a AT&T Retail Sales Consultant, knows how tough it can be to make the transition.
"A lot of times, there's a slight struggle there," Hollinger said.
Hollinger is a veteran and his wife is still serving. Soon, she's being transferred and AT&T is helping Hollinger find another AT&T store to work at.
"Knowing that stability is there, that job is still going to be there, it's a great relief for everybody," he said.
Typically, service members have about a year to transition out of military service and into civilian life. Register says all veterans should be proactive.
"Prepare," he said. "Don't wait until the last minute to get your education. And don't wait until a year out to start networking and looking for that dream job."
Now, he said he's living that dream.
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