Walmart expands training program for employees forward of controversial shareholders assembly By –

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© -. FILE PHOTO: Walmart’s brand is seen outdoors one of many shops in Chicago

By Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (-) – Walmart (NYSE:) Inc mentioned on Tuesday it’s in search of to draw highschool college students by providing them a low-cost path to a school diploma and can develop an training program it began a yr in the past – in a brand new bid to attract employees in a decent labor market.

Walmart’s announcement comes a day earlier than its annual shareholders assembly in Bentonville, Arkansas, which might be attended by Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders.

At the assembly, Sanders is predicted to strain Walmart to boost its wages and introduce a shareholder proposal calling for hourly associates to have a seat on Walmart’s board.

“I’m going to Bentonville, Arkansas, to inform the Walton household of Walmart, the wealthiest household in America: Get off welfare. Pay your employees a dwelling wage!” Sanders tweeted final week.

The world’s largest retailer provides an entry wage of $11 whereas rival Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:) pays $15 an hour and Target Corp (NYSE:) has mentioned it is going to provide $15 by the tip of 2020, prompting labor teams, unions and politicians to criticize Walmart’s pay coverage.

Walmart has mentioned its common hourly complete compensation and advantages complete greater than $17.50 an hour.

Tuesday’s announcement can also be tied to U.S. retailers struggling to rent and retain expertise, particularly younger employees, with unemployment at its lowest in almost half a century.

$1 A DAY

Last yr, Walmart mentioned it is going to pay its part-time and full-time employees to go to highschool, in an effort to enhance worker retention charges and engagement at work.

Walmart, which is the most important U.S. personal sector employer, with a virtually 1.5 million workforce, mentioned it is going to cowl the prices of tuition, books and costs whereas workers might be required to pay $1 a day all through their research.

Walmart’s preliminary provide required workers to get levels in enterprise and provide chain administration. The expanded program, it mentioned, will add 14 new expertise levels in areas together with cyber safety and pc science.

The expanded program may also search to attract and retain highschool college students by providing them jobs with scheduling choices, similar to the chance to work the identical day and shift for 13 weeks.

It may also provide free ACT and SAT take a look at prep, as much as seven hours of free school credit score, a debt-free school diploma and a commencement bonus program of as much as $1,500 for five,000 U.S. employees who haven’t beforehand accomplished a university diploma.

The value of school stays a major barrier for a lot of highschool college students, which frequently results in expensive scholar loans, Julie Murphy, govt vp, People, Walmart US, instructed reporters on a name.

The Center for Microeconomic Data lately reported that scholar mortgage debt is now almost $1.5 trillion and fewer and fewer teenagers are coming into the workforce, Murphy mentioned, citing numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS estimates that by 2024 solely 26 p.c of teenagers may have a job, she mentioned.

Walmart employees can earn levels and certificates at six nonprofit universities, together with Southern (NYSE:) New Hampshire University, Purdue University and the University of Florida.

Less than a yr after the launch of Walmart’s program, greater than 7,500 Walmart employees have been accepted to at the least one of many applications, the retailer mentioned.

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