This summer Walmart is piloting a new College2Career program, which will give young professionals the chance to fast-track their careers by helping to run a multi-million-dollar business: one of its Walmart stores. According to a blog post on Walmart.com, the program is for recent college graduates and current college students within 12 months of graduating, including Walmart associates.
Participants will go through a mix of classroom training, hands-on experience and one-on-one mentoring with company leaders as they "learn the ins and outs of Walmart and train to be a salaried member of management at a local store" according to the statement. At the end of the program, top performers will be offered a newly created management job of emerging coach — with a starting wage of at least $65,000 a year. College students will be able to step into the role after they graduate, while recent grads will start immediately.
“We see the emerging coach role as an additional pipeline to develop high-potential talent into future store managers, the latter role with an average wage of approximately $210,000 in 2021,” the retail giant said in the statement. “With College2Career, we're aiming to move emerging coaches to store managers within two years.”
Total Retail's Take: The program underscores a heightened sense of urgency as Walmart seeks to bolster the supply of managers for its more than 4,700 U.S. stores amid a tight labor market. And a tight labor market it is. Walmart's College2Career program announcement comes as a record 4.5 million Americans, or about 3 percent of the workforce, quit their jobs in March. As of the end of March, the number of job openings stands at 11.5 million. And like other retailers, Walmart has been raising wages and adding educational and training opportunities in recent years to entice workers to both join the company and stay.