PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway announced it will expand its support of America's military veterans by hiring at least 1,000 military veterans in 2013, adding to the 1,300 hired to date in 2012.
In addition, the company is raising money this Veterans Day weekend for organizations that help veterans recover from service-related injuries and/or return to the civilian workforce.
Safeway’s support of the country's military has encompassed donating and shipping more than 2,000 care packages to soldiers serving overseas; continuing full benefits for Safeway employees who are called from reserve to active duty; and training and placing veterans in sought-after positions, the company said.
"We are honored to assist those who have protected our freedom at home and abroad," said Larree Renda, Safeway’s executive vice president and chair of The Safeway Foundation, in a statement. "Likewise, we have tapped into the knowledge and leadership skills of these remarkable professionals to enhance our workforce. We urge other companies to do the same and benefit from the talent that comes with military experience."
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This year marks the second year that the company has dedicated the three-day Veterans Day weekend to raising money for veteran-related causes. In 2011, the company raised $1 million for the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that provides medical and emotional support to those who incurred service-related injuries on or after Sept. 11, 2001. This year, The Safeway Foundation's Nov. 9-11 fund-raising effort in most stores will benefit various organizations and outreach programs that help veterans gain the skills and resources necessary to transition to civilian jobs.
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In addition to its goal of hiring over 1,000 military veterans both in 2012 and 2013, Safeway has created the Junior Military Officer and Non-Commissioned Officer program to train and place veterans in top store and backstage leadership positions. The 41-week intensive training program includes a combination of on-the-job training, mentoring, classroom seminars, job shadowing and independent study, as well as participating in numerous department and key leadership strategy sessions. At the end of the program, participants are qualified to hold a number of leadership positions, including store manager and warehouse superintendent.
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