Celebrating a Meaningful Commitment to Staff

Getting an education just got a whole lot easier!

Aug 7, 2021
Special Collections: CHANGEMAKERS
Celebrating a Meaningful Commitment to Staff | Getting an education just got a whole lot easier!

Goodnet is pleased to report on an exciting new employee initiative from America’s largest private employer, Walmart. From August 2021, the retailer’s Live Better U program will offer all its employees free access to additional education and training in a range of US colleges. This will give them the opportunity to expand their knowledge and their career horizons. 

At a time when $1.7 trillion of student loans is spread across 45 million borrowers, according to  business magazine Forbes,  “Walmart’s program represents the ultimate education benefit: tuition-free college.” 

Starting August 16, all of Walmart's approximately 1.5 million employees, both full- and part- time workers, including brand new employees, are invited to participate in the company’s program offering free college education.

This program will cover 100 percent of college tuition for Walmart staff in several designated US colleges, as well as all books. This estimated almost $1 billion commitment is so significant because these workers will now be able to earn college degrees or learn trade skills free without the burden of accumulating education debt. 

“We are creating a path of opportunity for our associates to grow their careers at Walmart, so 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 the retailer’s media release. “This investment is another way we can support our associates to pursue their passion and purpose while removing the barriers that too often keep adult working learners from obtaining degrees.”

This new initiative, which has emerged out of a preexisting Walmart subsidized training program launched in 2018, was created with a recognition of the changes in the economy and the job market. It is a bid to think outside the box to encourage more staff members to pursue further education. It also recognizes the growing challenge of attracting and retaining talent in a more volatile business environment.

The program’s new training options have been astutely synced with what the company has identified as its new growth areas. This is to ensure that the project will represent a win-win for both employer and employees.

These include specialisms like business administration, supply chain and cybersecurity. Ideally, it is hoped that tomorrow’s graduates will become leaders in these fields within the company.

According to Stomski, as quoted by CNN Business, “Employees who have participated in the program are twice as likely to get promoted and are retained at a ‘significantly higher rate’ than other workers.”

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Daphne has a background in editing, writing and global trends. She is inspired by trends seeing more people care about sharing and protecting resources, enjoying experiences over products and celebrating their unique selves. Making the world a better place has been a constant motivation in her work.
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