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Walmart Opens 1st N.J. Training Academy

Marking a quarter-century in New Jersey, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. opened its first training academy there in Williamstown on Oct. 20. The facility is located adjacent to Walmart’s Williamstown store.

“We have deep roots here in New Jersey, and we’re proud of our associates and all they do for our customers and communities across the state,” noted Thomas Underwood, regional general manager, Walmart. “It’s fitting that while we celebrate 25 years in the Garden State, we’ll also be launching what we believe will be one of the keys to the success of our business for many years to come. The education and training our associates will receive at this academy will enable us to run even better stores and help our associates turn a job at Walmart into a great career.”

The grand-opening ceremony for the academy included recognition of all 25-year associates in New Jersey, among them more than a dozen who started at the state’s first Walmart store, in Gloucester County.

Located adjacent to or near Walmart stores, Walmart’s academies enable hourly supervisors and department managers to receive two weeks of hands-on training that incorporates both the classroom and the sales floor, in accordance with the company’s new end-to-end training program, Pathways, aimed at associates at all levels of store operations.

“Our training academies help provide associates with the skills they need to succeed and advance, while creating a better and more consistent customer experience,” explained Underwood. “Skills training increases productivity, confidence and knowledge which leads to greater job satisfaction, personal and professional growth and helps make working at Walmart a smart career choice.”

The company plans to build approximately 200 academies in the United States by the end of next year. Each facility will train associates from approximately 25 nearby stores. According to a Forbes article published this past March, the academies are replacing Walmart’s previous training programs, which included online learning and shadowing of “sponsor employees.” In September, 45 associates became the first to graduate from an academy, in Broken Arrow, Okla., the Tulsa World reported. 

Since opening its first New Jersey store in 1991, Walmart has expanded to 71 locations in the state, employing more than 21,000 associates. The mega-retailer operates a total of 11,535 stores under 72 banners in 28 countries, as well as e-commerce websites in 11 countries. The company employs more than 2 million associates worldwide.

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