Amazon, which previously pledged to hire 25,000 military veterans and spouses and exceeded that goal, has pledged to quadruple that number to 100,000 by 2024.
With a promise that all regular, full-time employees begin at a base package that includes benefits and a starting wage of $15 an hour, veteran job seekers have taken note of the company’s Hiring Our Heroes program, according to Connecting Vets.
Amazon has also spearheaded the Warriors@Amazon affinity group, consisting of over 10,000 former service members, spouses and allies across the company.
The motive, according to Connecting Vets, is simple: Veterans and their spouses possess unique skills and training that Amazon sees as valuable.
“Amazon is focused on recruiting and developing military talent with training programs specifically designed to help veterans transition into roles in the private sector,” said John Quintas, director of global military affairs at Amazon. “We value the unique skills and experience that the military community brings, and our new hiring commitment will expand the impact that military members currently have on every single business across the company.”
According to Amazon’s website, they offer several programs to assist military members, ranging from a 12-18 week paid apprenticeship program, as well as a corporate fellowship program.
Internships are GI Bill eligible, offering training in high-tech fields such as Data Center Technician, Cloud Support Associate, ADC Analyst and Software Development Engineer.
Active duty military members are eligible to participate in the fellowship program during the last 180 days of active duty service, while military spouses can participate remotely. The fellowship program boasts a 90 percent job placement rate for participants.
Amazon’s commitment to military veterans is far-reaching in the company, going beyond employment.
Matt Williams, a military veteran, was searching for a new field when he came across Amazon’s Program Honor. According to Amazon, Williams found his dream job while utilizing his skills to help his community.
“Sometimes, I pinch myself that I get to work at a company like Amazon, and I get to help the community I came from. It’s incredible how many people are collectively taking on these challenges at Amazon. It makes me proud to work here,” Williams said.
According to Amazon, Program Honor is specifically designed to include support for veterans with disabilities.
Williams, a senior program manager on Amazon’s Global Military Affairs team in 2022, is responsible for initiatives that help veterans.
Program Honor supports organizations such as the Gary Sinise Foundation and Blind Veterans UK while working to support mental health, suicide prevention and end homelessness for veterans.
For the Gary Sinise Foundation, the Alexa Accessibility team created a feature called adaptive listening. It allows Alexa to respond more in time with the speaker, who may have difficulties with speech due to injuries.
While it may seem a small change, it allows independence to veterans who live in the foundation’s homes, which are adapted, smart homes designed for disabled veterans.
For its commitment to veterans, Amazon has received accolades of its own. In 2020, they were awarded Top Employer of the Year for their Hire Heroes USA program, while VETS Indexes Employer Awards named them a 4-star Employer in 2021.