Walmart, the largest private employer in the United States, said Tuesday it would invest $ 1 billion over the next five years to cover the tuition and books of its American employees.
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Starting August 16, the Arkansas-based retailer will waive its $ 1 per day fee for Walmart and Sam’s Club associates who are part of the company’s Live Better U (LBU) education program.
Previously, the training program required associates to pay daily fees, but due to the changing economy and labor market, the company needed another way to encourage “more associates.” to continue their education, ”according to Walmart.
The company’s program, which began in 2018, is part of its commitment to eliminating the burden of school debt, which is “a major barrier to graduation,” Walmart said.
Overall, the program will help 1.5 million associates get a college degree or professional skill without facing that burden, Walmart said.
“This investment is another way to help our associates pursue their passion and purpose while removing the barriers that too often prevent adult learners from obtaining degrees,” said Lorraine Stomski, senior vice president of the learning and leadership at Walmart, in a statement.
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To date, more than 52,000 associates have participated in the program since its inception. About 8,000 have already graduated.