Walmart (WMT) is expanding its educational benefits program to prepare its workforce for “future-proof and future-focused roles” through skilled trade training.
In the summer of 2018, the big-box retailer began offering its 1.5 million U.S. associates debt-free college, as part of its $1-a-day college tuition perk, called “Live Better U.” The nascent program — which used to kick in after 90 days, but is now available on day one — has already been a huge hit with Walmart’s workers.
“While the economy and our company will continue to be technology-driven, we also recognized that the U.S. suffers from a skilled trades talent gap,” said Drew Holler, SVP of People at Walmart.
The country’s largest private employer teamed up with Penn Foster, a for-profit online career school, to offer its associates the opportunity to earn certificates across trades, including facilities and industrial maintenance, HVAC/refrigeration, electrical, plumbing, and construction.
The retailer has