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Bill Simon spoke at the 2013 National Retail Federation’s annual BIG Show, addressing the private sectors responsibility to help improve the economic conditions of the country.

“The beauty of the private sector is that we don’t have to win an election, convince Congress, or pass a bill to do what we think is right.  We can simply move forward, doing what we know how to do, growing our business.

At the heart of our national conversation today is one issue: creating jobs to grow the economy.  My message to you today is that the time for waiting is over.   Fixing this problem will take all of us doing our part – business, government, labor, nonprofits, and private citizens.  And the retail industry has to lead. ”

He unveiled our three-part plan to help stimulate the American economy:

  • Commitment to hire 100,000 Veterans over the next 5 years.
  • Pledge to spend 50 billion on American made products over the next 10 years.
  • Focus on promoting part-time employees to full-time status.

Watch Bill Simon’s full speech

Coverage of the Announcement

How Walmart Plans to Bring Back ‘Made in America’
Walmart doesn’t make anything. But the giant retailer could play a part in the manufacturing rebound that is taking place in the U.S. with its promise to buy $50 billion more U.S. made goods over the next decade for its Walmart and Sam’s Club stores. It’s a bit ironic, given Walmart’s vast global sourcing organization. But the same forces that are making the U.S. a more hospitable place for manufacturing —higher shipping costs and wage rates overseas among them—have prompted the company to reevaluate its sourcing on a variety of products.

Wal-Mart Seeks Support for Made in USA 
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is out to get other retailers behind Made in the USA. Bill Simon, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart U.S., in January revealed the world’s largest retailer aimed to source $50 billion worth of additional products in America by 2020.

It’s Cool Again to be “Made in America”
Not since the 1970s has “Made in America” been such a hot way to market your product. On one end is Walmart’s promise to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made merchandise over the next decade; on the other are designers touting investments in New York’s shrinking garment district as a way to justify higher prices.

Easing veterans’ job plight
Major employers — including JPMorgan Chase, IBM, and General Electric — have started initiatives aimed at bringing more veterans on board. Those efforts got a major boost this month when Walmart Stores Inc. unveiled a plan to hire an estimated 100,000 veterans over the next five years. Under the Walmart plan, veterans who have been honorably discharged from the military since Jan. 15, 2012, will be given first crack at available jobs within 50 miles of their homes.

OPINION: Whenever possible, hire a vet
The often-maligned retail giant Wal-Mart recently announced in no uncertain terms that it plans to hire at least 100,000 veterans during the next five years to work in its retail stores, Sam’s Club locations or in distribution warehouses.

Analysis: Highlights from NRF 2013
The Walmart boss also spoke of the need for retailers to lead an economic revival, rather than waiting for things to get better, and pledged to increase sourcing of American-made products by $50bn (£31.5bn) over the next 10 years in an attempt to contribute to an “economic renewal”.

Companies should copy Walmart, hire more veterans
Without a doubt, the decision by Walmart officials to hire every veteran who wants a job and was honorably discharged in the previous year should be copied. Over and over.

Maybe Wal-Mart is not the bad guy
Walmart and Sam’s Club have announced a new commitment to hire veterans, to help part-time employees move into full-time jobs and to promote American manufacturing. Wow! What a great idea.

Veterans salute Walmart jobs program
Walmart plans to hire more than 100,000 veterans over the next five years in an effort to provide jobs for soldiers recently discharged from active duty. Beginning May 27, the corporation will give veterans honorably discharged within the last year priority job application status for positions open in stores, at distribution centers and at Walmart main offices.

Walmart U.S. president Bill Simon touts benefits of retail jobs – Tampa Bay Times
At a retail conference in New York last week, Simon said he’s tired of hearing people put down retail jobs. Sure, the industry has a lot of entry-level jobs, but “that’s nothing to be ashamed of,” he said. “Everyone has a first job.”

Salute to Wal-Mart – The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
A major international corporation that pledges to provide employment for at least 100,000 honorably discharged U.S. military veterans deserves a resounding hooray (perhaps even more appropriately, a hooah). Wal-Mart’s mass hiring, covering veterans within 12 months of leaving active duty, is scheduled to begin on Memorial Day.

Wal-Mart leads to help veterans 
WAL-MART’S reputation as a corporate citizen is mixed. But even its detractors should find its latest initiative – a plan to hire more than 100,000 veterans – worthy of praise.

Wal-Mart’s plan to hire vets is a worthy effort 
In pledging to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years, Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, has set an example of honoring the sacrifices of the nation’s men and women in uniform that other corporations should follow. Few gestures say welcome home more profoundly than the security of a job.

Saluting Wal-Mart’s pledge to hire veterans: Editorial
Wal-Mart says it’s got jobs for 100,000 veterans who are looking for work. That’s more than a crafty PR campaign; it’s a step toward solving one of the country’s more vexing problems.

Editorial: Wal-Mart moves the needle on hiring vets, buying American  
We may forget it at times – amid all our talk of fiscal cliffs, debt ceilings and sequestration – but the top priority for many Americans remains the sluggish economic recovery and, specifically, the jobless rate.

Walmart’s Commitment to Veterans is No Stunt 
The nation’s largest private employer said it would hire every recent veteran seeking a job, amounting to 100,000 hires over five years.

Walmart Offers Jobs To Any New Veterans With An Honorable Discharge
Walmart is embarking on a major initiative to hire some veterans. They must apply within 12 months of leaving active duty and have an honorable discharge. The company projects it will hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years.

Walmart to favor vets, U.S. products
Walmart Stores Inc. announced Tuesday that it intends to boost its purchase of U.S. products by $50 billion over the next decade.

Walmart plans $50 billion ‘buy American’ push – Reuters News
Walmart Stores Inc will buy an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made products over the next decade in areas like sporting goods and high-end appliances in what the world’s largest retailer called a bid to help boost the U.S. economy.

Walmart Tries to Improve Its Battered Image – Bloomberg Businessweek
Walmart Stores has been very busy during the past couple of days. The world’s largest retailer has made a series of announcements that touch on a few of the most critical issues it faces.

Walmart Plans to Buy American More Often – The New York Times
The manufacturer 1888 Mills produces most of its sheets and towels overseas, in part to keep costs low for retailers like Walmart. But after Walmart gave 1888 Mills a long-term contract for towels made in the United States, 1888′s chief executive said the company expected to produce more goods here.

Walmart pledges help for US producers – Financial Times
Bill Simon, chief executive of Walmart US, said rising labour costs in Asia and the volatility of oil and transportation costs were making the US a more viable production location for some products, including clothes and sporting goods.

Walmart to hire vets, buy more American products – Associated Press Newswires
Why wait on Washington when there’s Wal-Mart? Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer and the biggest private employer in the U.S. with 1.4 million workers here, said Tuesday that it is rolling out a three-part plan to help jumpstart the sluggish U.S. economy.

Walmart Plans to Offer Jobs to Veterans; Buy More Domestically – Dow Jones News Service
Walmart Stores Inc. touted an initiative to offer jobs to veterans in their first 12 months off active duty while also planning to buy $50 billion in additional domestically manufactured products over the next decade, which would be about 1% of sales at current levels.

Walmart to hire 100,000 veterans – CNNMoney
Veterans who have recently returned home are getting the attention of Walmart. Wal-Mart Stores said Tuesday that, over the next five years, it will hire every veteran who honorably left the military in the last year.

Walmart Reaches Out to Veterans – The New York Times
Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, says it plans to offer jobs to any recent veterans who want one and hire more than 100,000 of them in the next five years.

Walmart pledges to hire any returning veteran – Los Angeles Times
Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pledged to employ any returning veteran who wants a job in a hiring push that will kick off Memorial Day.

Walmart to buy American, hire vets Holiday shopping called decent – The Washington Post
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and the biggest private employer in the United States with 1.4 million U.S. workers, said Tuesday it is rolling out a three-part plan to help jump-start the sluggish economy.

Walmart Nabs Good PR With Veteran Hiring, ‘Buy American’ Efforts – Advertising Age
Walmart generated some favorable coverage today by promising to hire veterans and buy more products made in the U.S.

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