March 27, 2019
By Julie Murphy, executive vice president of People, Walmart U.S.
The nature of work is changing – and quickly. Walmart is focused on staying out in front of that change and helping our people thrive in tomorrow’s workplace.
We are on a journey to be an employer of choice and over the last four years, we’ve been deliberate in how and where we’ve invested in our 1.4 million U.S. associates. Whether our associates come to Walmart to work a few shifts a week or to start a new career, we want Walmart to be that place where they can explore their potential. To discover what they’re made of, and what they can do. A chance to take part in programs that help them grow in their careers and beyond.
A keystone to success is education, and today, we are announcing that our lifelong learning offerings will now be known as Live Better U. Live Better U provides a platform that brings our suite of education benefits together to make it easier for all associates to learn about and access the options designed to help them unlock their future. Live Better U also references our company’s mission, underscoring that it applies to our associates, too.
Live Better U supports associate education at every level. The program includes our $1 a day college program, cost-free high school education to associates and eligible family members, discounts on higher education programs like master’s degrees, foreign language learning and much more – all in partnership with Guild Education. Additionally, since Live Better U is part of our broader Walmart Academy development program, our associates can get college credit for training they receive on the job: Hundreds of thousands of associates have already undergone skills training equivalent to more than $317 million in college credits.
Since we announced our partnership with Guild last year, more than 4,500 Walmart associates from all 50 states have enrolled in at least one of the programs, including more than 3,000 in degrees at University of Florida, Brandman University and Bellevue University. That number will continue to grow as hundreds of associates fill out interest forms every week.
And we’re just getting started. Live Better U will continue to evolve and expand with the needs of our business and interest of our associates.
When Tracy Hutchens, an Area Manager at a distribution center in Wisconsin, heard about the $1 a day education program last year, she thought, “there’s got to be a catch … it’s too good to be true.”
Tracy isn’t alone. That’s something we’ve heard a lot since launching the program and honestly the catch is quite simple: We know when an associate like Tracy invests in her education, she will likely want to continue to grow professionally as well. And while we hope our associates choose to do that at Walmart, we are proud that this program will help them grow their careers wherever life takes them.
Now, less than a year later, Tracy knows the program is real and she’s on her way to earning a debt-free degree in supply chain, transportation and logistics management by contributing just $1 a day and with a Guild coach to help her every step of the way. As an online student with no need to commute to class, she’s also able to maintain her career, home and social life.
We are proud to offer associates the opportunity to earn a college degree for just $1 a day – but Live Better U is much broader than that. It’s about making education accessible, providing the tools to help associates like Tracy be successful and creating a path for our people to go as far in their educational journeys as their hard work, vision and talents will take them.
Because Walmart is that place where better is always within reach.
Photo credit: James Russo Jr.