- Wal-Mart has announced the expansion of its Lifelong Learning program (Career Online High School) in partnership with Cengage, to offer all eligible associates and their family members access to free high school diploma and career certificate accredited programs.
- Brian Poland, Director of Wal-Mart Lifelong Learning and Talent Development said in the press release that the program "gives associates more opportunities and we are excited to provide these same opportunities to eligible family members too."
- Wal-Mart associates, and now their eligible family members, can earn a credentialed career certificate in a high-growth career field to help them achieve more in the labor market. They have up to 18 months to complete the program, and are paired with an academic coach to set them up for long-term career success.
For years, Wal-Mart has been ridiculed for various problems with low-pay, poor benefits, and lack of upward mobility for associates. But recently, the retail company has focused intently on employee development programs to help ease skill gaps and improve retention.
Reaching out to the family is an important way to ensure employee happiness and improve engagement. A College Board study highlighted the very real impact that higher education has on communities, most especially low income areas. Companies that are more focused on community tend to have better engagement scores overall.