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Walmart and Meijer Establish Employee Training Programs


Walmart offers a path to a college degree for employees without having to be encumbered by student debt.  Walmart pays the cost of tuition, fees and books not covered by financial aid to obtain a baccalaureate degree within a five-year period.


The initiative is more than altruistic, since employee loyalty and productivity are enhanced through education.  Walmart will add seven baccalaureate degree programs and two career diplomas to the existing educational benefit program. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistic estimates that demand for healthcare positions will increase and there will be a shortage of suitably qualified technical and professional workers to fill positions.  Walmart has 5,000 retail pharmacies, 3,000 vision centers and 400 hearing centers. 


Meijer supermarkets have created a retail management certification program to obtain training at the Grand Rapids Community College.  Eighteen employees with at least one year of service will represent the pilot cohort.  The certification program will extend over a year with classes covering seven weeks.  Todd Weer, Senior Vice-president of Stores of Meijer stated, “Our team members are vital to our company’s success and we remain committed to investing in their professional development.”  He added, “This newest partnership with Grand Rapids Community College provides a great opportunity to help our team members achieve their educational goals and advance their careers.”  To accommodate additional students, the Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees has voted to purchase a disused JC Penny building to establish a campus.  Initial classes will be in organizational behavior and accounting with additional instruction in business communication and management.  Erika Murphy, manager of leadership development programs at Meijer noted, “This is a valuable credential regardless of the team member’s position within the Company as it provides a solid understanding of business education, general management and retail management.”  She added, “It’s especially helpful for individuals working to achieve the first level of leadership within Meijer but can provide core skills that can take them wherever they go in their careers.