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Nestlé Purina PetCare Company Celebrates Veterans Day with Three-Day Celebration and Highlights Job Opportunities for Veterans

Company also asking consumers to vote for their favorite military pet charity - Dogs on Deployment or Pets for Vets - and Purina will donate a total of $100,000
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St Louis

Nestlé Purina is celebrating Veterans Day with three days of military-focused events for Purina associates, spotlighting job opportunities for Veterans across the U.S., and giving a total of $100,000 to split between consumers' favorite military pet charity based on online votes at*.

"All of us at Purina commend and sincerely thank those who bravely serve our country," said Steve Degnan, chief human resources officer for Nestlé Purina PetCare. "As a veteran myself, I know first-hand that veterans can bring a competitive advantage to the workplace because of our unique skills, loyalty and discipline. Purina offers numerous job opportunities to veterans at our sites across the U.S. through a dedicated military veteran career page, and veteran outreach and training are key components of our Project Opportunity initiative."

Project Opportunity is a career-acceleration program launched by Nestlé in 2015. It is designed to help military veterans and people of all ages gain work experience and strengthen their professional development skills. Since its beginning, Purina is on target to hire more than 200 people by 2016 into roles as interns, management development trainees and apprentices in many areas of our business and factory locations across the U.S.

As part of Project Opportunity, Purina recently partnered with Hirepurpose, an organization committed to transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses into careers. Purina also partners with RallyPoint, an online social community for active and veteran military and supporters, and has proudly supported The Mission Continues for several years. These partnerships will help Nestlé and Purina achieve the goal of being an Employer of Choice among veterans and their spouses, family and supporters by 2017.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there are more than 21 million veterans living in the United States today. Since Purina's founding, the company has employed veterans from both World Wars, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, the engagements in the Persian Gulf, and Veterans that served in peacetime, stateside and around the world.

"I have worked many places in the past and had the privilege of serving in the U.S. Navy on board two aircraft carriers in several foreign countries. But the best place I've ever worked is here at Nestlé Purina," said Karen Bolhuis, Manager of Purina's Associate Wellness Center, Nurse Practitioner.

Purina's 2016 Annual Veterans Day celebration includes the following:

  • Inspirational Speaker Major General Cassie Strom - Tuesday, November 8
    • Inspirational speaker Major General Cassie Strom will share the challenges she faced rising to the rank of Major General during her 31-year military career, and how veterans' military strengths, skills and experience translate to success in the civilian world. Strom retired in July 2015.
  • Purina Military Tribute Event - Wednesday, November 9
    • Purina's lobby will be filled with representatives from the CHAMP Assist Dogs, Dogs on Deployment, Marine Corps League, Mission Continues, Navy League, Pets for Vets, Team Red, White and Blue, and more.
    • Performance by select members of the United States Air Force Band.
    • Demonstrations by Scott Air Force Base working dogs.
    • Purina associates will have the opportunity to create gift bags for military pets.
  • Veterans Day Ceremony - Thursday, November 10
    • Purina associates will gather in the company's lobby to hear guest speakers from Dogs on Deployment and Purina's leadership team. Washington University's ROTC Color Guard will present the colors at the beginning of the event.

In addition to these events for Purina associates, Purina is asking consumers to vote for their favorite military pet charity. Visit and vote for either Dogs on Deployment or Pets for Vets through November 15. The charity garnering the most votes will receive a $75,000 donation, and the other charity will receive $25,000.

Project Opportunity is part of Nestlé's broader efforts to develop talent for the company and help tackle the global unemployment crisis. Nestlé recently joined the Global Apprenticeships Network (GAN), a coalition of companies, employers' federations and associations that addresses the global unemployment crisis and the need for business to ensure skills for the future.

Learn more about career opportunities for veterans or apply for a position at Nestlé Purina.

Media Contacts:

Jessica Hardecke
Nestlé Purina PetCare
[email protected]

*Nestlé Purina PetCare Company will donate a total of $100,000, split between Dogs on Deployment, and Pets for Vets based upon total votes received by each participating charity between 10/26/16 and 11/15/16. Limit one (1) vote per person/day. See complete Terms and donation details at for details.