- Wal-Mart announced the launch of it's 100th employee development center, located in Edmond, Oklahoma. Since 2016, the retail giant has been focused on opening up regional training academies to help more associates reach learning goals.
- This opening marks the halfway point for Wal-Mart, which hopes to open 200 learning centers by the end of the year.
- More than 52,000 associates have graduated from the Wal-Mart programs, with nearly 225,000 more scheduled to complete their training in real-life work skills by the end of 2017.
The dedication that Wal-Mart is demonstrating towards the training of its associates reflects ongoing trends in the retail and hospitality spaces, which are struggling with employee retention. The opening of training centers allows employees to immerse themselves in peer supported learning, while giving them the pride of accomplishing something meaningful they can carry beyond their current job.
Wal-Mart has created avenues for learning, not only in retail-related concepts, but also soft skills that can propel more people into management level careers — a pipeline many retailers are struggling to maintain. Companies that want to follow suit can also partner with regional workforce training centers to provide industry specific training.