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Tue Jul 27, 2021, 05:35 PM

Walmart now offering free college tuition and books to its 1.5 million U.S. employees

Source: Washington Post

Walmart will begin offering free college tuition and books to its 1.5 million U.S. employees, the latest effort by the country’s largest private employer to attract and retain workers in a tight labor market.

The retail giant said Tuesday that it will invest nearly $1 billion over the next five years in career training and development programs for workers who want to pursue majors in high-demand fields, such as business administration, supply chain and cybersecurity. The company had previously required its Walmart and Sam’s Club workforce to pay $1 a day to participate in the program....

Walmart’s Live Better U education program, which will be free beginning Aug. 16, was created three years ago to help employees advance within the company. Workers can choose from 10 academic partners, including the University of Arizona, the University of Denver, Purdue University Global and Southern New Hampshire University. More than 52,000 employees have participated and 8,000 have graduated since 2018.

“Our education offerings tie directly to our growth areas at Walmart, and what better way to fill the pipeline of future talent than with our own associates,” Stomski said.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/07/27/walmart-free-college-employees/



Credit where it's due.

47 replies, 2562 views

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Reply Walmart now offering free college tuition and books to its 1.5 million U.S. employees (Original post)
mcar Jul 27 OP
Lars39 Jul 27 #1
PSPS Jul 27 #6
melm00se Jul 28 #46
PSPS Jul 28 #47
Bluethroughu Jul 27 #13
catrose Jul 27 #17
Luciferous Jul 27 #21
Lars39 Jul 27 #22
JI7 Jul 27 #24
Lars39 Jul 27 #25
JI7 Jul 27 #26
Marrah_Goodman Jul 28 #38
Marrah_Goodman Jul 28 #37
Lars39 Jul 28 #39
PSPS Jul 27 #2
underpants Jul 27 #3
Tadpole Raisin Jul 27 #4
PSPS Jul 27 #9
George II Jul 27 #19
JI7 Jul 27 #27
area51 Jul 28 #31
captain queeg Jul 27 #5
50 Shades Of Blue Jul 27 #7
Lars39 Jul 27 #8
Sgent Jul 28 #32
Scrivener7 Jul 27 #10
Nululu Jul 27 #11
Hoyt Jul 27 #12
tenderfoot Jul 27 #14
Sherman A1 Jul 28 #34
abqtommy Jul 27 #15
NullTuples Jul 27 #16
catrose Jul 27 #18
George II Jul 27 #20
mcar Jul 27 #23
samplegirl Jul 27 #28
LudwigPastorius Jul 27 #29
Hekate Jul 28 #30
pwb Jul 28 #33
GB_RN Jul 28 #35
TexasBushwhacker Jul 28 #40
GB_RN Jul 28 #41
TexasBushwhacker Jul 28 #42
GB_RN Jul 28 #43
TexasBushwhacker Jul 28 #44
GB_RN Jul 28 #45
ShazamIam Jul 28 #36

Response to mcar (Original post)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 05:38 PM

1. I'm cynical. How are the employees going to do it

if they have ever changing shifts?

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 05:45 PM

6. I'm cynical too, but they can easily afford it.

Their gross income last quarter (ending 4/2021) was $138 billion plus they have $23 billion in cash in the bank. Their proposal here is $1 billion over 5 years which is "only" $50 million per quarter (.05 billion), so it's a rounding error for them.

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Response to PSPS (Reply #6)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 06:33 PM

46. That's revenue

gross income $35,038,000,000
operating income $6,909,000,000
Net income $2,730,000,000

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Response to melm00se (Reply #46)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 06:48 PM

47. Less that 2% of their net income.

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 06:32 PM

13. I agree with you...

I don't shop the walmart, but my sister does and said the store has very limited employees, and zero cashiers. Only one person to help if you've been flagged by the cameras, to be checked.

It's a ghost town....so how many employees will actually benefit from this program? It's sounds like PR, to move the conversation away from automation within the stores.

This is why local tax incentives for enterprise should be tied to quantitative direct employment results during a specified time period.

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 07:49 PM

17. Exactly. Maybe they can sell the books for food, because they don't earn enough to buy it.

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 08:53 PM

21. Online classes?

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Response to Luciferous (Reply #21)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 08:54 PM

22. Possibly

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 09:00 PM

24. Students have always had these type of jobs. They schedule them

based on when students are available. This can if course mean few hours but it has always been an issue.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #24)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 09:03 PM

25. Not always.

Nowadays you can be on call. Every single week can be different.

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #25)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 09:07 PM

26. What I mean is they will not ask them to work during those times

they have classes. They can still be on call during the rest of the time .

But as I said, this can mean very few hours. Even something like 4 hours a week.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #26)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 02:44 PM

38. Online classes

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #1)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 02:43 PM

37. Actually they are trying to be better about shifts

My housemate works there, as well as her autistic son. They work the same days and shifts and this year her schedule has been pretty set with the same days off.

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Response to Marrah_Goodman (Reply #37)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 03:29 PM

39. That's good to know.

I hope that’s company wide and not just an exception.

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Response to mcar (Original post)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 05:39 PM

2. That's how you get the line of applicants on the left...


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Response to mcar (Original post)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 05:39 PM

3. I know it's not probably considered a dream job

But operations like Walmart and McDonalds have tons of opportunity especially for those just entering the market.

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Response to mcar (Original post)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 05:40 PM

4. Wow, did someone get hit in the head in management?

I like this but I can’t believe they are willing to put that much money into their employees!

Very interesting!

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Response to Tadpole Raisin (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 05:49 PM

9. It's not that much for them. Their proposal represents less than 2% of their net income.

It's an excellent investment for them in many ways.

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Response to Tadpole Raisin (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 08:43 PM

19. The program began 3 years ago. Apparently they're just dropping the nominal $1/day fee.

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Response to Tadpole Raisin (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 09:11 PM

27. Employees have the upper hand at the moment with workplaces competing for them

What I'm hoping is that it's a result of people having a different mind set about jobs and knowing that can demand something better.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #27)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 12:50 AM

31. I wish that were true. n/t

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Response to mcar (Original post)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 05:44 PM

5. Its a good move. "tight labor market' is being thrown around a lot nowadays

The part about low pay is understood by all, but not articulated in certain circles.

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Response to mcar (Original post)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 05:46 PM

7. That must cost Walmart less than offering a decent starting wage...

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Response to 50 Shades Of Blue (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 05:47 PM

8. and health insurance

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Response to 50 Shades Of Blue (Reply #7)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 01:26 AM

32. Of course

and they don't have to pay FICA, FUTA / SUTA, and W/C on those wages either.

That said there is a major shortage, especially in rural areas, for people with degrees in cybersecurity -- and Walmart needs them. If an associate wants to transition it helps walmart and the associate to pay for the schooling.

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Response to mcar (Original post)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 05:52 PM

10. That's great. But do most of their employees still qualify for food stamps? If so, WE are

the ones providing this (which is fine with me) not Walmart. And I would prefer that we give them a living wage and benefits.

I hate to be negative about this but, seriously, just freakin' pay people enough for a full time job to live a life. Out of your billions in profits.

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Response to mcar (Original post)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 06:05 PM

11. Online learning. They aren't offering any college or university.

Just online which may present problems for students wanting to transfer credits or for advanced degrees.

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Response to mcar (Original post)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 06:08 PM

12. Hope some young workers take advantage of this so that they have a better chance at good jobs.

Minimum wage increases are needed, especially among small businesses that haven't committed to $15+/hour.

But why limit oneself to low paying jobs if there is help to advance?

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Response to mcar (Original post)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 06:38 PM

14. Too bad paying their employees decently is out of the question.

eom

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Response to tenderfoot (Reply #14)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 06:04 AM

34. Precisely

But of course the Walton Family needs that money for more homes and airplanes.

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Response to mcar (Original post)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 06:58 PM

15. My WalMart cynicism runs deep and this won't change that.

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Response to mcar (Original post)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 07:35 PM

16. Sure you can go to school if you want but your shift schedule is still unpredictable



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Response to NullTuples (Reply #16)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 07:50 PM

18. Yes, you must be available for us to schedule you 24 hours a day.

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Response to mcar (Original post)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 08:46 PM

20. Good, positive news, too bad so many have to piss on it. What's interesting is this program....

....has been in effect for three years with a small fee with little notice.

It appears now they're eliminating the approximately $300/yr fee.

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Response to George II (Reply #20)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 08:59 PM

23. Yeah I figured the pissing would happen

Article also said that they are raising wages - obviously not quickly enough, but it's happening.

They are committing to a billion dollars to this project. Like I said, credit where it's due.

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Response to mcar (Original post)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 09:43 PM

28. Walmart really

trying to break away from their evil
Legacy?

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Response to mcar (Original post)

Tue Jul 27, 2021, 10:59 PM

29. Hopefully, the employees who take advantage of this will...

become educated enough to be able to get far away from frickin' Walmart.

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Response to mcar (Original post)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 12:11 AM

30. I worked my way thru college in retail, which paid (and pays) diddly-squat. Walmart is offering...

… a powerful incentive. This is a terrific program. Good for them.

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Response to mcar (Original post)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 01:49 AM

33. They should offer Counties the money they pay for their employee health benefits?

Get your people out of the system and I may shop there more.

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Response to mcar (Original post)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 10:08 AM

35. As This Usually Counts As Income For The Employee

Who’s paying the resultant taxes, Walmart or the employee who decides to take advantage of it? My guess is it’s the employee and they suddenly get a tax bill at the end of the year, that they likely weren’t expecting.

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Response to GB_RN (Reply #35)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 04:52 PM

40. It would be a taxable fringe benefit

It's not wages though, so it isn't subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #40)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 05:35 PM

41. Right

I've had to pay taxes on stuff like this before, so I'm fairly familiar with having to pay those taxes. I was prepared for mine, but getting the surprise bill, if you're not well informed/prepared, isn't fun (I got a surprise bill on another tax issue).

I somehow doubt that Walmart is going to be paying that bill for its employees, and I doubt they'll do a lot of education on the fact that this is a taxable benefit, either. Probably in the fine print that most employees won't read.

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Response to GB_RN (Reply #41)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 05:41 PM

42. I don't like that they are requiring that employees

have to go through high cost, private online schools. We gave a perfectly good community college system here in Houston, as well as University of Houston. They both offer lots of degree plans, and frankly, a degree from U of H is worth a lot more than one of those private online schools. This sounds like a scam to me.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #42)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 05:46 PM

43. "Sounds Like A Scam..."

If it’s through private, online schools, you’re probably right. I’d be willing to bet that Walmart gets a kickback on this…

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Response to GB_RN (Reply #43)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 05:57 PM

44. That's what I was thinking

The full tuition will show up on their books and on the employees' W2 though. You'd better believe it.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #44)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 06:13 PM

45. No Doubt.

And I wouldn’t want to get one of those W2s at the end of the year, when I was filing, and expecting a refund…

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Response to mcar (Original post)

Wed Jul 28, 2021, 01:01 PM

36. Oh what the hell, those are all scam and for profit only institutions.

Betsy DeVos probably give WalMart a list of approved institutions. I know many employers don't recognize those universities.


Two edits that basically rewrote the entire comment.

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