BENTONVILLE, Ark. (OBV) – Walmart officials say the company is changing lives through its education initiative, Live Better U (LBU).
LBU is now in its fifth year, and Walmart employees, referred to by company personnel as associates, are still benefitting from educational opportunities offered by the program.
Walmart partnered with Guild Education, a private company based in Denver, Colo., to offer LBU to associates. Guild helps employers provide tuition-free education, skills training and career mobility to their workforce, according to Guild’s website.
“Walmart has been a trailblazer for creating career opportunity, helping to set the bar for employers across the country,” said Rachel Romer, CEO and co-founder of Guild. “Over the past five years, our partnership has provided associates with life-changing access to education, skilling, and career mobility, helping to propel their personal and professional growth at Walmart. We’re inspired by the impact we’ve made together through Live Better U and all the potential the future holds.”
The top retailer is touting three benchmarks from its LBU initiative.
Walmart has saved associates nearly $500 million in tuition costs.
“We never want cost to stand in the way of an associate’s desire to excel in their career – that’s why we’re proud to cover 100% of the cost of tuition and books for part-time and full-time Walmart and Sam’s Club associates, starting on their first day with us,” Walmart representatives said.
More than 104,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club associates from across the nation have participated in LBU.
Walmart associates in Oklahoma are among those who have experienced the benefits of the LBU program, according to Aaron Harris, senior manager of Global Corporate Communications for Walmart.
“Associates in Oklahoma have themselves saved more than $6 million dollars through the program among the 2,300+ associates who have participated thus far,” Harris said.
Walmart is adding the University of Arkansas to its LBU academic partner list and will expand the program to associates in Canada. UA will be the 26th LBU academic partner.
LBU helps associates with a range of academic endeavors, ranging from high school completion and short-form programs, which includes business analytics and project management, to college degrees.
“Whether it’s a part-time associate who wants to earn a degree, a supply chain associate looking to become a Walmart driver, or a store manager who wants to take their leadership skills to the next level, Walmart is creating a path of opportunity for every associate,” company representatives said.
Company representatives say they are continuously expanding and evolving LBU, including eliminating the $1-a-day program enrollment fee in 2021. Enrollment increased 66 percent after the fee was eliminated.
“We’ve also added more programs to support growth in high-demand areas, such as supply chain. At the end of the day, it’s about giving our associates the skills to succeed both today and in the future,” Walmart representatives said.
Visit livebetteru.com for more information on LBU.