Walmart announced June 10 an expansion of its Live Better U education benefits program to include new programs that will help their learners adapt to the new world of work and any challenges they’ve faced as a result of the current state of the economy.
As part of the expansion, Walmart is partnering with Penn Foster to provide online courses in six in-demand trade fields, including facilities maintenance, industrial maintenance, HVAC/refrigeration, electrical, plumbing and construction, according to a company press release.
A second partnership with eCornell and Southern New Hampshire University now allows Walmart associates to take 19 digital skill certificates that cover four different areas important for them and their career development: ways of working, data fluency and decision-making, design-thinking and UX/UI, and technology.
“At a time when the world is rapidly changing, we’re proud to expand our educational offerings to thousands of Walmart associates across the nation,” said Paul LeBlanc, president and CEO of SNHU. “These new digital certificate programs will provide Walmart associates with short bursts of learning that will prepare them with future-proof skills and set them up for success in our changing workforce.”
In addition to these new offerings, Walmart is also allowing all associates to sign up for the education benefits program on their first day of employment instead of having to wait a 90-day eligibility period.
Since the program started in 2018, more than 25,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club associates, both full-time and part-time, from all 50 states have benefited from it. According to the press release, Walmart associates who are enrolled in the benefits program have higher retention and promotion rates than those who are not enrolled.
“The current economic climate has only added urgency to the need for practical training and education opportunities for Americans, especially those who do not fit the historic profile of a full-time student,” said Julie Murphy, executive vice president of people for Walmart U.S. “By adding both digital courses and skilled trades to our education benefit, associates have access to even more in-demand skills, so they can advance their careers, whether at Walmart or elsewhere.”