On May 30, Walmart made an announcement that they will offer college subsidies for workers to pay only $1 a day. In its latest benefit, the company seeks to alleviate some of the criticism they have received for the treatment of their employees.
— Walmart Newsroom (@WalmartNewsroom) May 30, 2018
This program works for Walmart and Sam’s Club workers pursuing associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in business or supply-chain management to be taken at three nonprofit schools: the University of Florida, California’s Brandman University or Bellevue University in Nebraska. Walmart said courses can be taken both on campus or online and employees do not have to continue working at Walmart after receiving their degree, Bloomberg reports.
Walmart executives said the school choices were decided by their flexible class times and high graduation rates for adult learners.
“Investing in the personal and professional success of our associates is vital to Walmart’s future success,” CEO of Walmart U.S. Greg Foran said. “We know training and learning opportunities empower associates to deliver for customers while growing and advancing in their careers.”
“Under the program, the associate contribution toward a college degree would be just $1 a day,” Walmart said in a program statement. “Walmart will subsidize the cost of tuition, books and fees, eliminating the need for student loan debt and addressing one the biggest hurdles that keep people from returning to college.”
Bloomberg said that up to 68,000 employees might sign up.
Part of Walmart’s plan is to increase employee engagement and to reduce employee turnover. Walmart increased its hourly wage by $1 earlier this year, as more benefits seem to be rolling out for the multinational retail corporation.
“Many of our associates don’t have the opportunity to complete a degree,” said Drew Holler, Walmart’s U.S. Vice President of People Innovation. “We felt strongly that this is something that would improve their lives and help us run a better business.”
Walmart, currently offering a subsidy program to help their workers get high school diplomas, estimates that up to 5% of its U.S. workforce can take advantage of their new college education program.
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