How the retail giant is making healthcare more affordable and preparing for the next generation of healthcare workers.
Millions of Walmart’s associates can now earn college degrees in health-related fields.
Walmart’s 1.5 million associates in the U.S. can now apply for one of seven bachelor’s degrees and two career diplomas in health-related fields for $1 a day through the Live Better U education program.
“The degrees will prepare associates for the next generation of healthcare jobs and provide a clear path to higher-paying jobs in a growing area of the company and in the economy,” says Michelle Malashock, director, media relations and corporate communications, Walmart.
The program includes the debt-free $1 a day degree program, free high school completion for associates and eligible family members, discounts on higher education programs like master’s degrees, and free foreign language learning in partnership with Guild Education. Additionally, associates can get college credit for training they receive on the job through the retailer’s Academies.
New courses include diploma programs for pharmacy technicians and opticians through Penn Foster, and seven bachelor’s degrees in health science, health and wellness, and healthcare management/administration offered through Purdue University Global, Southern New Hampshire University, and Wilmington University.
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The new offerings will arm associates with training to fill critical healthcare roles across Walmart and Sam’s Club, which includes more than 5,000 retail pharmacies, 3,000 vision centers, and 400 hearing centers, as well as the new Walmart Health center in Georgia.
“The upskilled workforce will help Walmart make quality healthcare more affordable and accessible for customers in the communities it serves,” Malashock says. “Walmart’s health and wellness strategy is continuing to evolve, including the recently opened the Walmart Health center in Georgia, a prototype that works with partner providers to deliver affordable, transparent pricing for key health services for local customers, regardless of insurance status.”
The new health and wellness courses offered through Live Better U provide a clear path to higher pay jobs in a growing area of both Walmart and in the economy, according to Malashock.
“This is especially important because the health industry has projected growth of 18% between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,” she says. “As Walmart’s health and wellness strategy and offerings continue to evolve, Live Better U will play a critical role in preparing its associates across the country for future work opportunities in the growing healthcare field.”