ATLANTA - Each day U.S. military veterans return home, bringing with them distinct skill sets, leadership qualities and a commitment to doing the job right. Coca‑Cola has a long tradition of supporting military troops and veterans, dating to the 1940s. With this history in mind, and looking toward the future by embracing the unique qualifications of veterans, Coca‑Cola Refreshments will offer at least 800 job and career opportunities to military veterans in 2012.
"Our military personnel have made incredible sacrifices to serve and protect their country and when they return home, they deserve support and recognition from companies like Coca‑Cola," said Steve Cahillane, President and Chief Executive Officer, Coca‑Cola Refreshments. "It's also in the best interest of companies to consider military vets as they offer a wide variety of skills, diversity of perspective and ingrained leadership and drive."
Veterans will be provided with opportunities to become part of the Coca‑Cola Refreshments team throughout the year. This initiative builds on a long-term Company program to recruit veterans. Currently Coca‑Cola Refreshments employs more than 5,500 veterans in a variety of roles across its organization, covering all 50 states.
"Coca‑Cola Refreshments recognizes that our military provides a strategic, qualified talent pipeline for our organization," added Cahillane. "Recruiting military veterans is not just the right thing to do, it's also the smart thing for our business. Veterans who join the Coca‑Cola team will play a critical role by using their valuable experience to help us share moments of refreshment with people across our country."
Coca‑Cola began its support of U.S. military troops in 1941 during World War II when former Company President Robert Woodruff committed "to see that every man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca‑Cola for five cents, wherever he is and whatever it costs the Company." That same decade, the Company began a more than 70-year partnership with the USO. Today, the Coca‑Cola system provides military personnel with more than two million beverage servings per day through its military channels. Coca‑Cola Refreshments is also focused on implementing enhanced programs to recruit, retain and develop our nation's heroes. In addition, throughout the year, many marketing programs pay tribute to and reward veterans for their service.
The announcement of the Company's new military recruitment program comes in advance of Cahillane's participation in the Robin Hood Veterans Summit today in New York. Cahillane will participate on a group panel called, "Coming Home: Transitioning to Civilian Life," which focuses on how companies, private sector organizations and veterans support groups can help ease the transition for veterans and their families as they pursue new opportunities in the civilian world.
To guide its efforts in attracting military personnel, Coca‑Cola Refreshments has developed a new military recruitment strategy designed to identify and acquire military talent at all levels. The updated strategy includes specialized training for Company recruiters and hiring managers; a military career website that launches in June; the development of partnerships with Department of Defense agencies; and upcoming participation in key military career conferences, job fairs and networking events.
The Coca‑Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca‑Cola, the world's most valuable brand, our Company's portfolio features 15 billion dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca‑Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system employees. For more information, visit www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo, or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company.