Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which already employs almost 1.5 million associates in the United States, making it the nation’s largest private employer, has revealed plans to create American jobs and invest in local communities nationwide.
According to the mega-retailer, its investments over the next year will support an estimated 34,000 jobs via continued expansion and improvement of the company’s stores and e-commerce services, while providing specialized training for 225,000-plus frontline associates.
The effort comes despite Walmart's recent well-publicized job cuts, most recently of hundreds of human resources department positions, in a bid to slash costs and bolster profits.
Additionally, the Bentonville, Ark.-based company and the Walmart Foundation, together with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, are awarding grants through the U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund to further sustainability and innovation in textile manufacturing. Through the U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have funded $10 million in grants since 2014.
"Walmart is investing to better serve customers,” noted Dan Bartlett, Walmart's EVP for corporate affairs, who was scheduled to discuss the company’s investments in job creation and associates, as well as the textile industry innovation grants, at the 85th Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. “With a presence in thousands of communities and a vast supplier network, we know we play an important role in supporting and creating American jobs. Our 2017 plans to grow our business – and our support for innovation in the textile industry – will have a meaningful impact across the county.”
Walmart is gearing up for $6.8 billion of capital investments in the United States over the its coming fiscal year, which starts Feb. 1, including the construction and remodeling of stores, clubs and distribution centers, along with the expansion of such services as online grocery pickup.
The company’s further plans include the following:
- The creation of approximately 10,000 retail jobs through the opening of 59 new, expanded and relocated Walmart and Sam’s Club facilities, as well as e-commerce services, with an estimated 24,000 construction jobs supported through the opening of those facilities, in addition to the remodeling and improvement of existing U.S. facilities.
- By July of this year, the opening of 160 new training academies across the country, bringing the total number of such facilities to 200. More than 225,000 associates are expected receive up to six weeks of hands-on training and graduate from the academies in 2017.
The company’s investment in American jobs also includes a 2013 commitment to buy an additional $250 billion in American-made, -grown, -assembled and -sourced products through 2023, a pledge estimated to help create 1 million jobs.
Walmart operates 11,593 stores under 63 banners in 28 countries, and e-commerce websites in 11 countries.