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06/10/2021

EYE ON RETAIL: free courses at Walmart

World's largest retailer offers free virtual courses to the public.
a man standing in front of a computer

Walmart is turning its employee academies into community resources.

The discount giant is launching Community Academy, a free program that leverages its network of over 200 Walmart Academies in stores across the country to offer educational opportunities to anyone in the community – associate or not. For the past few years, Walmart Academies have focused on training and upskilling store associates.

Community Academy virtual courses are now available nationwide at no cost, with open online registration. Class topics include résumé building and interviewing skills, budget and finance, standardized test preparation, and navigating college admissions. Each course is grouped into one of five overall themes – community, personal finance, home, career progression, and technology. 

This will not be Walmart’s first community education initiative. The retailer has previously piloted a proprietary virtual reality tool to train community members how to spot and respond to an opioid overdose.

All courses will be taught by Walmart Academy facilitators. The company says it will expand its Community Academy offerings throughout the year.

“At Walmart, we believe in opportunity – to grow your skillset, build a career and reach for something more,” Andy Trainor, VP of learning, Walmart, said in a corporate blog post. “Community Academy represents our belief in that opportunity, and we’re proud to begin serving our communities in this new way.”

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This article first appeared in HBSDealer's sister publication Chainstoreage.com.