In 2016, Walmart created a training program for its associates. Walmart Academy was designed to provide frontline hourly supervisors, department managers and assistant managers between two and six weeks of training to help them build career paths with the retailer.
More than 2 million employees have since graduated from a Walmart Academy, often located in or near a Walmart Supercenter. Last week, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) graduated the first class from a new academy focused exclusively on e-commerce fulfillment. The first such facility is located inside Walmart’s Fulfillment Center in Plainfield, Indiana.
“The Walmart Academy program is all about opportunity,” said Andy Trainor, Walmart’s vice president of U.S. Learning. “Not only do our academies provide training that equips associates for today – the program also lays the groundwork for tomorrow. Academy training is one of the building blocks for a great career, and we’re excited to see this unique facility in Plainfield make an impact for our people.”
Walmart has more than 200 academies across the country, but this is the first one located in a fulfillment center and focused on e-commerce. Trainor told Indiana Business more will follow.
“We were very deliberate in making sure these training locations are in an active location. One of the things that we’re very proud of is any facility we choose to be an academy location has to be on process and a very good run site, because we want the associates as they come in to train to see the right way to do things,” Trainor told the publication.
Walmart Academies have a dedicated staff that provides training to position associates in their current roles and provides a path for career growth with the company. The Plainfield Academy’s areas of study will include core, safety, servant leadership and time management classes in addition to training built specifically for its network of associates.
“Academies represent Walmart’s belief in growth, opportunity and readying our workforce for the future of a transforming business,” said Steve Miller, Walmart’s senior vice president of e-commerce fulfillment operations “As retail continues to evolve, we are committed to equipping our associates for the tech-enabled jobs of the future.”
The first class from the Plainfield academy consisted of 74 associates.
Walmart is building a 2.2-million-square-foot fulfillment center in Hancock County, where Plainfield is located. The center will handle both Walmart’s e-commerce business and its third-party fulfillment business, Walmart Fulfillment Services.
In June, Walmart expanded its academies program to offer opportunities to the general public. The Community Academy program allows anyone to register for free to attend classes on topics such as resume building, interviewing skills, budget and finance, standardized test preparation and navigating college admissions. All community courses are taught by Walmart Academy facilitators.