BENTONVILLE, Ark., Sept. 24, 2019 – Walmart knows a well-trained and engaged workforce is critical to winning in the future. To prepare its associates for the next generation of healthcare jobs, Walmart is adding education benefit programs that provide a clear path to higher pay jobs in a growing area of the company and in the economy.
Beginning today, Walmart’s 1.5 million associates in the U.S. can apply for one of seven bachelor’s degrees and two career diplomas in health-related fields for $1 a day through Live Better U, Walmart’s education benefit program.
“Walmart aims to be the market leader in providing retail workers a path to careers in growing fields like healthcare,” said Drew Holler, Senior Vice President of Associate Experience for Walmart U.S. “We don’t know of any other retailer in America that has a program that allows its associates the opportunity to achieve a degree in healthcare that can translate into a higher-paying job within the company or in the broader field.”
The new offerings will arm associates with training to fill critical health care roles across Walmart and Sam’s Club, which includes more than 5,000 retail pharmacies, 3,000 vision centers and 400 hearing centers, as well as the new Walmart Health center in Georgia. The upskilled workforce will help the retailer make quality health care more affordable and accessible for customers in the communities it serves.
“Our presence in thousands of communities gives us a unique opportunity to provide access to affordable healthcare to millions of people, and we need trained associates in order to do so,” said Thomas Van Gilder, Chief Medical Officer at Walmart. “As our health and wellness strategy and offerings continue to evolve, Live Better U will play a critical role in preparing our associates across the country for future work opportunities in the growing healthcare field.”
The health and wellness courses include career diploma programs for pharmacy technicians and opticians through Penn Foster, and seven bachelor’s degrees in health science, health and wellness and healthcare management/administration offered through Purdue University Global, Southern New Hampshire University, Bellevue University and Wilmington University.
Live Better U now includes more than 50 programs, removing financial and access barriers to education for associates seeking educational opportunities across professions. The health and wellness courses are especially important given projected industry growth of 18 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Walmart’s LBU offerings will expand with additional programs expected over the next year.
"Walmart's Live Better U is quickly leading the pack as one of the most innovative corporate-sponsored education programs in the country,” said Rachel Carlson, CEO of Guild Education, Walmart’s education benefit partner. “We've been proud partners in supporting Walmart's goal of making their program accessible to all associates and aligned with advancement in the company or beyond. By expanding the program into healthcare fields, Walmart is ensuring associates can continue to pursue their dreams while making meaningful advancements in their careers.”
Walmart’s health and wellness strategy is continuing to evolve as the retailer focuses on making quality healthcare more affordable and accessible in the communities it serves. The retailer recently opened the Walmart Health center in Georgia, a prototype that works with partner providers to deliver affordable, transparent pricing for key health services for local customers, regardless of insurance status.
For more information on Live Better U, visit walmart.guildeducation.com/partner.
About Live Better U
Live Better U meets associates where they are on their educational journey by creating access, removing barriers and empowering associates to go as far in their education — and careers — as their hard work and talents will take them. The program includes the debt-free $1 a day degree program, free high school completion for associates and eligible family members, discounts on higher education programs like master’s degrees, free foreign language learning and much more — all in partnership with Guild Education. Additionally, associates can get college credit for training they receive on the job through our Academies. Hundreds of thousands of associates have already undergone skills training equivalent to more than $300 million in college credits toward the program.
Associates can now earn degrees and certificates at six nonprofit universities, which were selected for their success with adult learners: Purdue University Global, Southern New Hampshire University, Wilmington University, University of Florida, Brandman University and Bellevue University. Health and wellness programs join Live Better U’s previous degree offerings in business, supply chain and technology.
Less than a year after launch, more than 13,500 Walmart associates from all 50 states have been accepted into at least one of the programs — ahead of the retailer’s projections. Associates completed more than 36,000 credits worth a total of $17.5 million in the first year of the program.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, over 275 million customers and members visit our more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2019 revenue of $514.4 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.