Home Depot, Government Launch Military Veterans Jobs Initiative
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2004 Home Depot executives and senior government leaders launched a new public-private employment initiative for military veterans and their spouses here today.
Left to right: Dennis Donovan, Home Depot's executive vice
president for human resources, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J.
Principi, Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, Undersecretary of Defense for
Personnel and Readiness David S.C. Chu, and Bob Nardelli, Home Depot's
chairman, president and chief executive officer pose for a photo Sept. 21 at
the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Photo by Gerry J.
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Operation Career Front cosponsored by the 25-year-old building supply company, the Defense Department, the Department of Labor and the Department of Veterans Affairs -- was unveiled during a kick-off ceremony held at the National Press Club.
The initiative, according to Bob Nardelli, Home Depot's chairman, president and chief executive officer, was created to provide job opportunities for military veterans, retirees, National Guard members, reservists, and military spouses and other family members.
Military veterans, Nardelli noted, make exceptional employees who bring "focus, discipline and a commitment to excellence" to the workplace.
They "have never let me down," Nardelli asserted, noting there are now more than 15,000 military veterans among Home Depot's 300,000 employees at more than 1,800 stores. He said the company is expected to create more than 20,000 new jobs this year.
Private-public programs like Operation Career Front, Nardelli said, demonstrate patriotism and are a win-win situation for business and military veterans alike.
David S.C. Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness; Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi, Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao; and Dennis Donovan, Home Depot's executive vice president for human resources, accompanied Nardelli at the ceremony.
Chu, who noted that the joint initiative was a year in the making, saluted Home Depot's desire to support military veterans and spouses. However, he said, Operation Career Front "is much more than just providing job opportunities at the Home Depot." It is also, he said, "a reaffirmation of our commitment and resolve to support the men and women who wear the uniform."
Near the end of the ceremony, Nardelli introduced Glen Sykes, a retired Marine Corps master sergeant, and Dana Chango, the wife of an Army staff sergeant stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky. Sykes and Chango, Nardelli pointed out, are exceptional Home Depot employees.
Chango, the manager of a Home Depot outlet in Clarkesville, Tenn., credits Home Depot with providing her the opportunity to work at different stores as her husband is transferred across the country.
Operation Career Front, she said, affords Home Depot "the opportunity to get some good associates."
Sykes, the hardware department supervisor at the company's Sandy Springs store in Atlanta, noted that Operation Career Front presents "a great opportunity" for former service members "to utilize their leadership and management skills."