ATLANTA -- The Home Depot Inc. is recruiting the spouses of military personnel in the latest hiring initiative between the nation's largest home improvement chain and the government.
Home Depot, which averages a new store opening every 48 hours, said its effort with the Defense Department also will involve hiring more veterans, active duty service members about to be discharged, National Guard members, and reservists.
If a service member is relocated by the military, Home Depot will try to transfer the person's spouse to a store near the new community, if a job is available.
While the company does not guarantee a job in the new location, Home Depot believes the spouse-transfer provision will help reduce attrition in the military because servicemen will be less worried about their spouse's ability to find work.
''It's very difficult for military spouses when the person in the military gets moved, the spouse has to uproot," said Dennis Donovan, Home Depot's human resources chief. ''In some cases, it's a retention issue."
Home Depot will not create jobs specifically for former military personnel and their spouses, but instead tap the roughly 20,000 jobs that will open up this year through new stores and other growth.
The latest initiative is not the first time Atlanta-based Home Depot and the government have teamed up on the jobs front.
In 2002, as unemployment was increasing, the government began reaching out to companies like Home Depot to help workers find jobs.
Home Depot said then it would work with the Labor Department to help meet its need for 40,000 new full- and part-time jobs that year.