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Walmart's internal approach to filling 100,000 in-demand jobs

Six years in and Walmart’s Live Better U education benefit has given nearly half a billion dollars in tuition savings to more than 126,000 associates the opportunity to learn from top academic institutions. Now the company is reimagining the program to focus on skills that make associates more hirable for key roles within the company.

Walmart’s goal is to help fast-track Walmart and Sam’s Club associates into approximately 100,000 in-demand jobs it expects to fill over the next three years.

"This number represents jobs we’ve identified as critical to how we serve customers both today and in the future," said Lorraine Stomski, senior vice president, associate learning and leadership. "This includes salaried management and hourly supervisor roles in our stores, clubs and supply chain facilities. We’re also focused on helping associates develop the skills to move into roles in technology, Health & Wellness, our private fleet of truck drivers and other growing parts of our company."

The company said this approach will help it emphasize skills-based hiring as it removes college degree requirements for the majority of its roles.

Walmart has more than doubled the number of short-form certificates and courses, which take four months on average, becuase the quicker employees learn new skills, the faster they can move up.

Some of the certificates offered include frontline manager leadership, people and business leadership, data science, software development and project management. The company is even producing its own certificates, including a supply chain operations course created in tandem with the University of Arkansas.

"Let’s be clear: college degrees are still valuable, and associates will still be able to earn them from prestigious institutions. We also continue to offer college start classes so associates can earn an initial semester of credit in a low-pressure environment," said Stomski. "That said, we are adjusting the degrees we offer so they are targeted to specific skills and jobs where we believe a degree is the best education option."

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