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Walmart Introduces Training Programs to Compete

Walmart has long been criticized for offering low-skilled jobs that pay little and offer few opportunities to move up. Now, it’s fighting back against those criticisms by offering new training programs for its employees.

According to an article from The Street, Walmart opened its first training academy in February and plans to have 200 in place by the second quarter of 2017. The academies will take up about 3,000 square feet and will be located outside of Walmart stores.

According to the article, each training program will take about two weeks. Employees will be compensated for their time and travel. Each store that has an academy will hire additional workers—mostly in management positions—to serve as mentors to new employees.

“There is a war for talent, we realize the retail environment is changing,” said a Walmart executive presenting to a group of reporters at an event for the company’s recent annual shareholder’s meeting.

Walmart refers to the new training as “upskilling,” according to the article. The company says stores with training academies have seen better scores on customer service.

The additional training is one of several initiatives the company is taking for its associates. Walmart has also raised its minimum wage. Entry-level workers now start at $9 per hour, and they can move to $10 per hour in as little as six months by going through a training and development program.

The company says workers who already earned more than $10 an hour before the wage increase received an increase of about 2 percent.

About Liz Lichtenberger

Liz is the special projects editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and trends, visits retailers, and attends industry events. She graduated from Xavier University, where she earned a degree in English and Spanish and was a member of the swim team. Liz is a Louisville, Kentucky, native who lives in Indianapolis with her husband and two children. She enjoys swimming, reading, doing home improvement projects around her house and cheering on her two favorite basketball teams, the Kentucky Wildcats and the Xavier Musketeers.

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