The San Marcos Wal-Mart must work toward furthering the store’s national initiative to spend more money on American-made products and increase veteran employment.
According to a Jan. 20 Dallas Morning News article, Wal-Mart management plans to increase its spending by $50 billion on American-made products during the next 10 years. Similarly, in the same article, it has vowed to give 100,000 U.S. military veterans jobs over the course of five years. Wal-Mart is expected to begin hiring honorably discharged veterans who have left active duty within 12 months prior on Memorial Day, according to a Jan. 15 Associated Press article on the Home Post website. If Wal-Mart accomplished these two objectives, the U.S. economy and the community of San Marcos would improve significantly.
According to a 2012 Fortune 500 report on the CNN Money website, Wal-Mart is ranked as No. 2 on a list of the United States’ largest corporations, falling only to Exxon Mobile. The U.S. economy is indisputably influenced by Wal-Mart from the corporation’s powerful impact on society, and it is no surprise other large retail stores look to Wal-Mart as a business-plan model. Although some criticize the store for using inexpensive foreign labor to keep costs low, many new jobs could be created if Wal-Mart partners with other local shops and sells more American-made products.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation’s unemployment rate in December 2012 was 7.8 percent. According to the same statistics, the unemployment rate for Austin, Round Rock and San Marcos in November 2012 was 4.9 percent. These local statistics might be lower if the community of San Marcos was encouraged to open businesses and possibly coordinate with Wal-Mart, thus encouraging more individuals to make their own commodities.
It is important Wal-Mart increases its spending on American-made products. However, it is equally imperative more veterans have the opportunity to be employed at Wal-Mart. According to the same Dallas Morning News article, the unemployment rate for veterans is about 10.8 percent, which is 2.9 percent more than the national overall rate. Veterans deserve more opportunities for employment, and Wal-Mart can set a positive trend by hiring greater numbers of them.
Texas State was given the classification of “military friendly school” and ranked in the top 15 percent of 7,000 universities in the nation by G.I. Jobs, according to a Sept. 29, 2011 University Star article. Statistics from the same article indicate Texas State had a veteran enrollment of 1,030 during the fall 2011 semester. With so many veterans attending Texas State and living in the area, the Wal-Mart store in San Marcos should actively work to recruit, hire and retain veterans for employment.
According to the same Dallas Morning News article, Bill Simon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart, said, “Veterans have a record of performance under pressure. They’re quick learners, and they’re team players.” Those two qualities are exactly what any company would look for in an employee. So, it is no surprise that Wal-Mart is looking to hire many more veterans.
Wal-Mart management should go through with its proposals to spend more money on American-made products and increase veteran employment within San Marcos. Ultimately, these plans could help bring more jobs to the city, lower the unemployment rate and help stimulate the local economy.