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Walmart and Walmart.org Increase Access to Educational Opportunities for Black and African Americans

Walmart and Walmart.org Increase Access to Educational Opportunities for Black and African Americans
Posted By: Kennedy Williams on October 26, 2021

ATLANTA- Walmart Inc. and Walmart.org recently made a joint announcement highlighting three new initiatives aimed at advancing equity in education. These initiatives include monetary investments of $5.4 million and the addition of Spelman and other Historically Black Universities and Colleges to the company’s academic roster for its Live Better U program.
Through the company’s LBU program, in partnership with Guild Education, Walmart will cover tuition for associates enrolled in Spelman certificate programs in several disciplines including project management, business development and leadership.

Approximately 1.5 million part-time and full-time Walmart and Sam’s Club associates in the U.S. are eligible for the program.

“For 140 years, Spelman College has been a champion for lifelong learning. We are excited to partner with Walmart to expand and extend our offerings to adult learners who are looking to advance their careers, elevate their expertise or explore new fields,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman College.



“As a liberal arts college that consistently leads in numerous rankings from innovation and social mobility, to being the top producer of Black women scientists, we are looking forward to assisting Walmart employees who seek to earn the credentials that will catapult careers.”

Approximately 1.5 million full- and part-time U.S. Walmart and Sam's Club employees are eligible to participate in the Live Better U program. Last month Walmart EVP and Chief Sustainability Officer Kathleen McLaughlin reported that around 3,500 employees have completed a course of study through the program since it launched in 2018.

Nearly 10,000 associates have signed up as new participants since Walmart announced in July that it was removing a $1 per day fee for tuition assistance.
By adding HBCUs to its LBU program, Walmart is expanding access to new learning and career pathways for associates.

“These new partners further demonstrate our commitment to create a path for associates to learn, grow and discover their career journey,” said Lorraine Stomski, senior vice president of learning and leadership at Walmart. “As we work to become an even more diverse employer, what better way to fill the pipeline of future talent than with our own associates.”

More than 300,000 of Walmart’s associates are Black and African Americans. According to a recent study, 18% of Walmart’s Live Better U participants are Black, and Black associates who participated in the Live Better U program at Walmart were 88% more likely to receive promotions than non-participants.
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