College Grads Could Make Up to $210K as Walmart Store Managers Thanks to New Training Program

Walmart is rolling out a new way for college graduates to get their foot in the door of the company, the retailer announced in a Sunday blog post.

The big-box chain is piloting College2Career, a program designed for recent or soon-to-be college graduates. Through the program, which rolls out this summer, participants will receive classroom training as well as hands-on experience to prepare them for management roles at Walmart stores. Top performers in the program will be offered a role of emerging coach with a starting salary of $65,000.

The program will also serve a pipeline to develop and train future store managers, a role that in 2021 offered an average wage of about $210,000 a year. The goal is push emerging coaches to become store managers within two years, Walmart said.

The announcement comes as Walmart deals with a shortage of store managers, according to a Wall Street Journal report. It also marks Walmart’s latest investment in employee development, training and retention.

In April, Walmart announced that it would raise pay for its fleet of close to 12,000 truck drivers and introduce a “Private Fleet Development Program” to train new drivers. According to Walmart, truck drivers can make up to $110,000 in their first year with the company, with the chance to earn even more over time. Walmart also oversees a corporate internship program, which it expects to grow 30% this year compared with last year. 

According to Walmart, 75% of U.S. salaried store, club and supply chain management employees began their career at Walmart in hourly roles.

Walmart is one of many other retailers to announce a slew of benefits and competitive wages for new employees as it looks to meet staffing targets amid a labor shortage. About 4.5 million people quit their jobs in March at a rate of 3%, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number represents a series high and an increase from January and February.

In March, Walmart said it plans to hire more than 50,000 workers to staff its U.S. stores, offices and supply chain facilities in Q1, following a previously outlined goal to hire more than 5,000 global tech associates in 2022 and add tech hubs in Toronto and Atlanta.

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