- Walmart will provide a $4 million grant to the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC), allowing it to launch 10 new retail sector partnerships with local workforce development boards. The public-private collaborations will allow educators and other stakeholders to work with retail employers to design training programs that support career advancement for frontline workers, according to Walmart.
- The grant is part of a five-year, $100 million Walmart and Walmart Foundation initiative that aims to make it easier for employees in retail and other front-facing sectors to upskill and advance in their careers, the company said. The two organizations have provided more than $80 million so far, according to a press release.
- The initiative recently provided grants to the Foundation for California Community Colleges, Code for America Labs, Inc. and edX.
As a major U.S. employer, Walmart has made retail workforce investment a priority. Earlier this year, it partnered with Google to provide $5 million for organizations testing reskilling solutions aimed at aligning workers' skills with employers' future roles.
At the same time, it has been on the cutting edge of learning and technology with its own training initiatives. It recently expanded its use of VR to every store in the U.S., making the tech available to employees for a variety of upskilling modules. The company even used the simulators to ready employees for huge holiday shopping crowds like those that storm the store on Black Friday. Walmart also recently granted employees permission to use their peronsal phones on the job, with discounts offered on their phone bills. Staffers are able to download a variety of Walmart apps to access sales data, delivery schedules and more.
Finally, the company has rebranded its employee development somewhat while giving employees access to online learning for degrees in business or supply chain management at little cost. Through the program, employees also are assigned a coach to help them navigate the programming.