Walmart Graduates 1st Class of Degree-Earning Employees

Walmart Graduates 1st Class of Degree-Earning Employees
Amanda Nelson, one of the first 30 Live Better U graduates, is a people lead at a store in Oklahoma City who just received her bachelor’s degree in business management and leadership from Bellevue University

This month, 30 Walmart Inc. employees are earning either bachelor's or associate's degrees through the mega-retailer's Live Better U initiative. The program began in partnership with Denver-based Guild Education in 2018 and switched to the Live Better U name last year.

Currently, 12,000 Walmart associates are pursuing degrees, and the company now expects to celebrate new graduates every month.  

"We’re committed to making Walmart a place of opportunity. That means giving people a good, steady job that could turn into a career," wrote Julie Murphy, EVP of people at Walmart U.S., in a company blog. "These graduations are an important achievement in these associates’ lives. Their education is a launching pad for them to succeed in their jobs today and to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow."

The program aims to remove many of the cost, time and degree relevancy barriers to earning a higher education. Walmart has said that the cost of the program works out to $1 per day. 

Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries, and ecommerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. The company is No. 1 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.

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