Walmart will invest nearly $ 1 billion over the next five years in career-oriented training and development for its workers.
The company, the largest private employer in the United States, announced last week that it will pay 100% of college tuition and books for its associates through its Live Better U (LBU) educational program.
Effective August 16, the $ 1 / day fee for associates will be eliminated, making all educational programs paid for by Walmart.
This means that approximately 1.5 million part-time and full-time Walmart and Sam’s Club associates in the US can earn college degrees or learn business skills without the burden of educational debt.
“We are creating a path of opportunity for our associates to develop their careers at Walmart so that they can continue to build better lives for themselves and their families,” said Lorraine Stomski, senior vice president of learning and leadership at Walmart. in a sentence. “This investment is another way we can help our associates pursue their passion and purpose, while removing the barriers that too often prevent adult working students from earning degrees.”
The LBU program was initially designed after consulting with experts, reviewing other educational programs provided by employers, and studying research on what helps drive completion rates among working adult students.
This helped guide the initial $ 1-a-day approach, but the economy and job market have changed, and Walmart is always looking for new ways to encourage more associates to continue their education.
“We are also excited to add on-demand certificate and college degree options in business administration, supply chain and cybersecurity. These additional offerings add to a strong portfolio of programs to prepare associates for new career opportunities, ”said Stomski. “Our education offerings are directly related to our growth areas at Walmart, and what better way to fill the portfolio of future talent than with our own associates.”
In addition, Walmart will add four academic partners, including Johnson & Wales University, the University of Arizona, the University of Denver and Pathstream.
These complement existing partners: Brandman University, Penn Foster, Purdue University Global, Southern New Hampshire University, Wilmington University, and Voxy EnGen.
Our Live Better U program just got better. We are proud to announce that we will now pay 100% of college tuition and books for our associates seeking additional education, a planned investment of nearly $ 1 billion over the next five years. https://t.co/a4GTT9dTmu pic.twitter.com/wxx3xCmWg0
– Walmart Inc. (@WalmartInc) July 27, 2021
Each of these institutions was chosen for their history of success with adult and worker learning programs, as well as their focus on obtaining degrees.
Currently, cost is one of the main barriers to obtaining a degree, with student loan debt in the United States exceeding $ 1.7 trillion.
Since the launch of LBU in 2018, more than 52,000 associates have participated in the program to date and 8,000 have already graduated. Almost 28,000 associates have been active in an LBU program this summer.
“As the company that makes one of the nation’s largest investments in America’s workforce education, Walmart is setting a new standard for what it looks like to prepare workers for the jobs of the future,” said Rachel Carlson, CEO. and co-founder of Guild. Education. “Walmart is creating growth opportunities for its workforce and preparing them for the future of work.”
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