The Walt Disney Company will give jobs or career opportunities to at least 1,000 returning U.S. military veterans over the next three years, the entertainment and theme park giant said Tuesday.
As part of a "Heroes Work Here" initiative, announced at its annual shareholder meeting, the company will also invest in non-profit organizations that provide training and other support services to veterans.
The move comes as more U.S. service personnel prepare to return from overseas and the military shrinks as the United States winds down its presence in still-troubled Afghanistan.
"As a new generation of America's military men and women transition into civilian life, we are increasing our commitment and support for these modern day heroes," said Disney chief Robert Iger.
"It's a measure of our respect for how much they have sacrificed on our behalf, and our sincere gratitude for their extraordinary contributions to this country," he said at the annual general meeting in Kansas City, cited by a company statement.
Disney said it will "provide at least 1,000 jobs and career opportunities for returning U.S. veterans over the next three years," and "support military families and veterans in their transition into civilian life."
Recruitment would involve all segments of the company, including ESPN, the Disney-ABC Television Group, Disney Consumer Products, The Walt Disney Studios, and Disney Parks and Resorts, the company said.
Disney will also launch a national public awareness campaign to encourage all employers across the United States to hire military veterans.
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