Employment and Jobs

Upskilling in the News: Walmart Upgrades Education Benefits for Employees

June 10, 2020  • UpSkill America

UpSkill America is an employer-led movement to expand opportunity for America’s workers and allow our economy and communities to thrive. As part of our mission to advance the upskilling movement, we are pleased to share the following news from one of our partners.

Photo of Shawnta Henryetta, Walmart associate and Live Better U student

LBU Student Shawnta Henryetta, Photo Credit: Walmart

In a press release, Walmart announced several upgrades to its slate of education benefits, collectively known as Live Better U (LBU). LBU will now be available to all employees, both full-time and part-time, beginning on their first day of employment. Today’s expansion also includes the addition of “in-demand skilled trade and digital skills programs,” delivered in partnership with Penn Foster, eCornell, and Southern New Hampshire University.

Since launching in June 2018, 25,000 employees have participated in LBU, a majority of whom are women and 47% of whom are people of color. Some of LBU’s most popular offerings include its $1-a-day college degree program and free high school completion. Noting the need for greater inclusion and opportunity in this unique moment, Julie Murphy, executive vice president of people of Walmart US, said:

“The current economic climate has only added urgency to the need for practical training and education opportunities for Americans, especially those who do not fit the historic profile of a fulltime student.”

UpSkill America Director Jaime Fall also offer his thoughts on the announcement:

“With the cost of college tuition at an all-time high while 40 million people are out of work, the prospects of a college degree or a meaningful certificate are beyond the reach of a significant share of the American population. It is encouraging to see companies like Walmart stepping up and creating pathways for working adults to further their education and obtain credentials that will put them on a path to a meaningful and productive career. More than that, it’s important as a nation that more opportunities for advancement be made available to people who can’t otherwise afford them, so inequality doesn’t worsen.”

Even as the global pandemic continues to impact our economy and society, we are pleased to see Walmart remain committed to advancing the upskilling movement. We hope other businesses find innovative ways to promote upskilling during this difficult time. Click here to learn more.

Walmart and Walmart.org are supporters of UpSkill America, an initiative of the Economic Opportunities Program.


Share

Despite the constraints imposed by #COVID19, @Walmart is continuing to advance the #upskilling movement. Its #LiveBetterU education benefits are now available to ALL employees, full-time and part-time, from their first day of employment.

“The current economic climate has only added urgency to the need for practical training & education opportunities for Americans, especially those who do not fit the historic profile of a fulltime student.” -Julie Murphy @Walmart

“It is encouraging to see companies like @Walmart stepping up and creating pathways for working adults to further their education [and] put them on a path to a meaningful and productive career.” @Jaimen8r @upskillamerica


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UpSkill America is an employer-led movement that promotes training and advancement practices to help workers progress in their careers and move into better-paying jobs. UpSkill America is an initiative of the Economic Opportunities Program.

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