Walmart hosted grand opening festivities at its 100th training academy in the U.S. Monday, at 1225 West I-35 Frontage in Edmond, Oklahoma. Walmart training academies were introduced in 2016 and have expanded to 40 states.
“Everything we do begins with our associates,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores. “That’s why we have invested in training academies for associates to further develop the skills they need to better serve customers and succeed in today’s retail environment. Walmart is a place where anyone can fulfill their potential.”
Walmart training academies are dedicated facilities where associates receive instruction on retail fundamentals and area specific skills. Since the program launched, the curriculum has expanded training to cover more than 65 positions, including customer service manager, online grocery pickup and assistant store manager. Associates are trained through a combination of classroom and sales floor exercises, utilizing technology like tablet computers and cloud storage for training materials.
“These investments are paying off for our customers through cleaner stores, friendlier service and faster check-out times,” added McMillon.
Associates who go through training academy programs are able to earn while they learn new skills. Through skills training associates gain an increase in confidence and knowledge—which leads to greater job satisfaction, personal and professional growth and stability, according to Walmart. Walmart Academies are providing additional marketable skills that help associates with the job they are in and prepare them for the next level job.
“The Walmart Academy has given me the opportunity to help associates build and grow their careers with the company, but also helped me grow as a leader and an individual,” said Alesha Odenbret, Edmond Walmart Academy facilitator. “I have had an incredible experience with the company, and I wanted to be able to share that with other associates.”
Walmart plans to have a total of 200 academies opened across all 50 states by the end of summer. Since 2016, more than 52,000 associates have graduated, with more than 225,000 associates on track to complete training in 2017.