Wal-Mart Supports Diverse Communities throughout Chicago

Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce names Wal-Mart the 2007 Corporation of the Year

Participants of the Wal-Mart Emerging Scholars Scholarship Program from the University of Illinois at Chicago visit the Wal-Mart Home Office in Bentonville, Arkansas

Retailer provides resources for business, education and health care programs


BENTONVILLE, Ark., November 7, 2007 – Throughout the month of November, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will proudly partner with local Illinois-based organizations including the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the University of Illinois at Chicago and Illinois March of Dimes to provide services for Chicago and surrounding area residents. Wal-Mart will continue its support of diverse groups and issues important to local communities by providing financial resources to support current entrepreneurship, education and health care initiatives in Chicago.

“Wal-Mart’s efforts to help customers save money and live better starts in the local community. We know we make the biggest difference by supporting the issues of importance to our associates and customers in the neighborhoods we serve,” said Esther Silver-Parker, senior vice president, diversity relations,
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “Our commitment to and participation in diverse programs is an extension of our ongoing dedication to minority communities and the relationships we work to build in Chicago and local areas nationwide.”

To further support the growth and development of small businesses, Wal-Mart will participate in the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s (IHCC) 17th Annual Awards Gala held on November 8. During the gala, the company will announce its charter of the National Hispanic Chamber Leadership Academy (NHCLA). NHCLA will provide local Hispanic Chambers of Commerce executives with formal training, capacity building, and best practice tools to enhance their effectiveness in contributing to the success of local Hispanic businesses. As a result of this initiative and many others, Wal-Mart will be recognized by the IHCC as the 2007 Corporation of the Year.

“IHCC is committed to connecting business owners with opportunities," said Omar Duque, President and CEO, IHCC. “As a company that recognizes and provides opportunities to so many, Wal-Mart’s support helps us to continue to provide vital resources to the more than 45,000 Hispanic-owned businesses in Illinois. We are proud to honor Wal-Mart as the IHCC Corporation of the Year for the company’s continued commitment to promoting the growth and success of Hispanic businesses, including bringing in IHCC members as suppliers.”

Additionally, Wal-Mart     works to support education by assisting students in need. In partnership with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Wal-Mart will host participants of its Emerging Scholars Scholarship Program at its Home Office in Bentonville, Ark. on November 8-10. The company established the program to enhance educational opportunities by providing partial funding towards annual four-year scholarships to UIC business administration students. Students are also partnered with local Wal-Mart market managers who serve as mentors throughout the program. The mentors acquaint the recipients with business management practices and educate them on careers at Wal-Mart and within the retail industry. In 2006, 20 freshman – mostly minority students and all graduates of Chicago Public Schools – were awarded scholarships.

“The Emerging Scholars Program allows me the opportunity to devote more time to reading, studying, and researching instead of needing to work more than 40 hours per week to pay for my tuition and books,” said Luis Medina, Wal-Mart Emerging Scholars Program participant. “It has helped relieve the financial pressures placed on my father and emphasized my ability to serve as a role model for my younger brothers. I am grateful for the scholarship Wal-Mart has offered me.”

Additionally, the Illinois March of Dimes will host “Celebrando La Mujer Latina…Un Día Para Ti” on November 17 to celebrate women, specifically Hispanic women, who often serve as the heads of the household. The event will offer Spanish-language workshops and lectures on issues important to Latinas, including prenatal care, family planning and overall wellness. Wal-Mart recognizes the significant role family plays within the Hispanic community and is proud to sponsor this event.

Wal-Mart’s diversity initiatives and Hispanic community support begins with its Board of Directors, which includes two Hispanic members. As a leading employer of Hispanics, the company is an employer of choice for more than 154,000 Hispanic associates. As a result of its commitment to increasing opportunities for Hispanics within its business and in the communities it serves, Wal-Mart has received several accolades from Hispanic-focused publications, including Hispanic Business magazine “2007 Diversity Elite 60” and LATINA Style Magazine  “2007 50 Best Companies for Latinas. ”

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com.  The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally.  Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States.  To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.

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