Hy-Vee, customers to honor veterans
Hy-Vee is encouraging customers to join its Hy-Vee Homefront initiative for the sixth consecutive year in honor of our nation’s veterans. The Hy-Vee Homefront initiative consists of several company efforts, including Hy-Vee’s “Round Up for the Homefront” program, complimentary Veterans Day breakfasts at all Hy-Vee stores, Honor Flights, and veterans and military member employee recruitment.
Through the Hy-Vee “Round Up for the Homefront” program, customers can join Hy-Vee in supporting veterans and military members when they check out Nov. 1 to 18 at the company’s 248 grocery stores across eight Midwest states. Customers can participate by simply “rounding up” their purchases to the next dollar, or a desired dollar amount at the checkout. Hy-Vee will match customer donations up to $100,000.
Customers also may donate through Hy-Vee’s Aisles Online. The online shopping service will allow customers to contribute $1 or $5 per order to support veterans.
All proceeds from Hy-Vee’s round up program benefit Hope for the Warriors, Operation First Response, the Puppy Jake Foundation and the American Red Cross.
Hope for the Warriors is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for post-9/11 service members, their families and the families of the fallen who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty. Operation First Response helps meet the immediate personal and financial needs of wounded military members and their families. The Puppy Jake Foundation raises, trains and provides service dogs to veterans. The American Red Cross alleviates suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing volunteers.
Hy-Vee will commemorate Veterans Day on Monday, Nov. 12, the day after Veterans Day by offering a free breakfast to all veterans and active-duty military members. Hy-Vee expects to serve more than 90,000 veterans and service members at its 248 stores.
Walgreens, SNHU to provide veterans with career, educational opportunities
Walgreens is looking to provide career and educational opportunities to veterans via a newly announced partnership with Southern New Hampshire University, or SNHU.
Together the two companies launched a new initiative, Walgreens Helping Veterans with Educational and Retail Opportunities, or HERO, that aims to help 5,000 U.S. veterans over the next five years.
Through the program, the Deerfield, Ill.-based retailer will hire veterans into store leadership roles with opportunities to advance. In addition, SNHU will be providing participating veterans the option to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree at a discount.
“Our stores are the front lines of engagement with our customers and offer the best environment to learn our business as a pharmacy and retailer. Once in a store leadership role, veterans can have an opportunity to advance into other field management and corporate leadership positions,” Jeff Koziel, Walgreens senior vice president of operations, said. “In addition to full-time employment, this can lead to a successful and fulfilling career supporting Walgreens purpose to champion the health and well-being of every community in America.”
Veterans are to be hired into such leadership roles as shift leads and assistant managers, with the goal of becoming a Walgreen store manager. New hires also are to participate in a program to develop the leadership and decision-making skills necessary to run a store, the company said.
“At SNHU, we understand the unique needs of veterans as they work toward a college degree and transition into civilian life,” Paul LeBlanc, university president and CEO of SNHU, said. “We are proud to be working with Walgreens to provide veterans with more than just a job. Through this new initiative, veterans will be able to tap into their military experience to lead teams at Walgreens, develop workforce-relevant skills through higher education, and put themselves on a path to a meaningful career post-military.”
Further information on the program can be found on Walgreens’ website.
Walmart designs tech incubator for emerging predictive technologies
Walmart upped the cool factor when designing its first-ever technology incubator.
The lab, called Walmart Tech ATX, is located in a renovated warehouse in Austin, Texas, considered a hotbed of tech talent. The building houses tech professionals from both Walmart and Microsoft, with the team focused heavily on the development of emerging predictive technologies.
The building carries the sleek, industrial feel of its former warehouse design, the original location of the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater. The space also features a mural by local artist Mike “Truth” Johnston. The mural design blends the heritage of both Walmart and the city of Austin, with iconic images like Sam Walton’s red pickup truck, the Austin skyline and the Alamo Drafthouse.
The space is decorated with an eclectic color palette and furniture from Walmart’s online store, as well as its online brands, Hayneedle and Jet.com. The office features high desks and chairs, as well as pockets of seating space for different teams, creating a warm, comfortable environment resembling a living room rather than a traditional office.
The designer behind the vision is Katey Barron, director of IT program management at Walmart Technology. Barron joined the discount giant in 2012 as a temporary worker in Walmart’s then-new Innovation Lab — this concept has since evolved into Walmart’s tech incubator Store No. 8. At the time, she was responsible for company leadership tours of the futuristic technologies that could help empower associates and make different areas of the business more efficient like machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Over time, Barron realized she had an interest in the startups that were presenting their technologies to Walmart, experience that earned her a position helping to renovate Walmart’s David Glass Technology Center and design Exchange, a co-working space for select startups in Bentonville, as well as Walmart Tech ATX.
“My passion for design comes from wanting to serve startups and give them what they need — and really, I’ve just always loved furniture,” Barron said. “At Walmart Tech, these associates genuinely enjoy being around each other and diving into the work they do. We wanted to make it a space they could be comfortable in, proud of and enjoy coming to work every day.”