The U.S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) today signed an agreement with The Pepsi Bottling Group, Inc. (NYSE: PBG) to provide a priority hiring status to qualified soldiers participating in the Partnership for Youth Success Program (PaYS). The Pepsi Bottling Group, the largest distributor of Pepsi-Cola beverages worldwide, plans to fill approximately 700 jobs with soldiers completing their initial tour in the Army over the next three years.

The Pepsi Bottling Group is the second major corporation to join the PaYS program in less than two months; General Dynamics Corporation signed a similar agreement in June.

It PaYS to Go Army!

In a surging U.S. economy, where employers are scrambling to recruit and retain skilled employees, the U.S. Army will meet its recruiting goal this year, up 17 percent over 1999, because of innovative programs like PaYS that help young men and women get solid starts in their careers.

"Great organizations look out for the needs of their work force," said Major General Evan R. Gaddis, Commanding General of USAREC. "We're using flexible `open platform' business strategies to make the U.S. Army one of the best choices in anyone's career."

PaYS is a new strategic partnership program between the Army and a cross section of U.S. industries. It was conceived to help the Army attract, train and deploy talented young people seeking careers in emergency medicine, electronics and computer services, manufacturing, sales, logistics, construction, communications, and automotive and aircraft maintenance. "It helps business by guaranteeing participating companies a consistent, dedicated flow of skilled and responsible job candidates," said General Gaddis.

USAREC launched the PaYS program in June, 2000. Several additional PaYS partnerships are expected to be signed this year, according to General Gaddis.

Pepsi Bottling Group Says Deal is 'Great for Growing Businesses'

"This is a whole new Army," said L. Kevin Cox, Senior Vice President and Chief Personnel Officer for The Pepsi Bottling Group. "It succeeds by helping young people find and pursue opportunities with strong, growing companies, like The Pepsi Bottling Group. The Army not only recruits soldiers, it recruits jobs for them!"

The Pepsi Bottling Group is expecting to replenish many of its openings for skilled manufacturing, merchandising and front-line sales positions with exiting first-tour Army soldiers. "These soldiers will have received two years of training and on-the-job experience in the same fields that Pepsi Bottling Group most wants to fill. The PaYS program is great for growing businesses," continued Cox.

The Pepsi Bottling Group's workforce numbers nearly 38,000 worldwide.

The Pepsi Bottling Group, Inc. is the world's largest seller, manufacturer and distributor of Pepsi-Cola beverages with operations in the U.S., Canada, Greece, Spain and Russia.

The United States Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) is charged with identifying, approaching and enlisting quality men and women to serve in the Regular Army and Army Reserve. Approximately 8,000 military and civilian personnel conduct recruiting operations throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and at U.S. facilities in Panama, Germany and Asia. USAREC headquarters are located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Operations are overseen by Major General Evan R. Gaddis, Commander of the United States Army Recruiting Command since July 23, 1998.