BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Walmart announced a four-point plan to strengthen its jobs and invest in its employees.
According to a January 24 media release, the Bentonville-based retailer will initiate raises next month that will bring the average U.S. associate’s hourly salary to more than $17.50. The raise “includes a mixture of associates’ regular annual increases and targeted investments in starting rates for thousands of stores” and will be reflected in paychecks starting on March 2.
The second aspect of the plan is investing in employees that run Walmart’s Auto Care Centers. The retailer is introducing a higher-paying ACC team lead position and elevating tech positions to a higher pay band “that reflects the special skills needed for the role and its importance to our business.”
Walmart is also adding new college degrees and certificates to its Live Better U education program. According to the release, these new options “will equip associates with skills to unlock new career opportunities” and are focused on where the business is headed in the future.
Both part-time and full-time associates can participate in LBU beginning on their first day. Walmart said the program will pay 100% of tuition and fees.
The final point is an expansion of Walmart’s Associate-to-Driver program, which pays for supply chain associates to earn their commercial driver’s licenses and become Walmart truck drivers earning up to $110,000 in their first year. The retailer announced last week that this development program is now available to store associates.
“And as you continue to focus on your customers, we’re focused on investing in you—our store associates—through higher wages and new opportunities to gain the skills to serve tomorrow’s customers and grow a career with Walmart,” said John Furner, Walmart President and CEO, in a note sent to all U.S. associates. “No matter where you are in your journey, getting your start here can open doors—the first step into jobs that become careers and build better lives.”