BENTONVILLE, Ark., (WRBL) – The largest U.S. private employer pledged earlier this week to invest nearly $1 billion for the next five years to career development. Walmart and Sam’s Club will have access to its Live Better U Program, previously associates payed $1 a day to participate.
After the economy change Walmart felt offering full coverage was a vital step in encouraging associates to pursue further education. The program was first launched in 2018, and since then has had 52,000 participants and 8,000 graduates.
Debt has been the ultimate barrier for students seeking to earn a degree as student-loan debt in the U.S. has accumulated to over $1.7 trillion.
On Tuesday, July 27, Walmart announced it will pay 100 percent of college tuition and books for 1.5 million part and full-time associates.
In addition to this, the conglomerate is adding four academic partners through the Live Better U Program.
- Johnson & Wales University
- The University of Arizona
- the University of Denver
The University of Arizona President, Dr. Robert C. Robbins, M.D., says he is looking forward to joining Walmart’s educational offerings.
“We are thrilled to partner with Guild Education and Walmart in our mission to deliver Arizona’s world-class higher education programs to working adult learners in a flexible, engaging and highly effective way. We are honored to be a part of the industry-leading Live Better U program at the nation’s largest private employer and look forward to welcoming Walmart and Sam’s Club associates into the Wildcat family.”
Existing partners of the Live Better U Program (LBU) include;
- Brandman University
- Penn Foster
- Purdue University Global
- Southern New Hampshire University
- Wilmington University
- Voxy EnGen
Partners of the LBU program were chosen for their history of success with adult and working learner programs.
The company will also add in-demand college degree and certificate options in business administration, supply chain and cybersecurity.
In a press release, the Senior Vice President of Learning and Leadership, Lorraine Stomski, at Walmart explained why the company is so passionate about their employees career development.
“We are creating a path of opportunity for our associates to grow their careers at Walmart, so they can continue to build better lives for themselves and their families,” said Lorraine Stomski. “This investment is another way we can support our associates to pursue their passion and purpose while removing the barriers that too often keep adult working learners from obtaining degrees.”
For more information on this program, visit Walmart’s website.