Walmart announces new college education program for employees
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Walmart on Wednesday announced that it would pay for its employees to get a college education with the employee only spending $1 a day for their studies, The Washington Post reported.

The retailer said it will cover the cost of tuition, books and fees at three partnering universities as long as employees get their degrees in business or supply-chain management, according to the Post.

Walmart, the country’s largest private employer, will offer its employees a chance to earn associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. Walmart and Sam’s Club’s 1.4 million part-time, full-time and salaried employees will be eligible for the new program.

The program is intended to improve retention rates and engagement at work while attracting new talent.

With record-low unemployment, retailers like Walmart have struggled to attract and retain workers. In March, there were 723,000 open jobs in retail, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“We know there [are] a lot of benefits from a business perspective,” Drew Holler, vice president of people innovation for Walmart U.S., told reporters. “We know we’re going to see an influx of applications.”

The University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla., Brandman University in Irvine, Calif., and Bellevue University in Bellevue, Neb., will offer the degrees through online programs. Employees can sign up for the program after working 90 days with the company, the Post reported.

Walmart is one of many retail and service industry companies that is improving its employee benefits to help retain workers.

Earlier this year, the retail giant raised their starting hourly wage from $9 to $11 and began offering full-time employees paid parental leave and adoption benefits.

While the cost of the program is not yet clear, Walmart executives said they expect at least 68,000 employees to sign up within the first five years, according to the Post report.