Wal-Mart Stores on Tuesday said it would open 160 new training academies by this summer, with a goal of providing training for nearly a quarter-million of its workers in the coming fiscal year.
Training academies are regional facilities where Walmart’s hourly workers receive up to six weeks of training in retail fundamentals, leadership skills and the specifics of how to run individual store departments. That is supporting improved service in stores and career development for workers, the retailer said.
Walmart debuted the concept last year at 40 locations.
In a release Tuesday, Walmart said capital investment in the coming fiscal year, which begins Feb. 1, would create about 10,000 new retail jobs and 24,000 construction jobs. As previously disclosed, Walmart plans on $6.8 billion in U.S. capital spending in the fiscal year beginning Feb. 1, supporting 59 new Walmart, Neighborhood Market and Sam’s Club stores.
Published reports last week said that Walmart was cutting around 1,000 corporate headquarters jobs by the end of this fiscal year. The company did not confirm that figure.
Tuesday’s announcement — which accompanied news that the Walmart Foundation will provide $3 million in grants designed to support textile innovation — comes as companies highlight their role as U.S. job creators at the dawn of the Trump presidency. Last week, Amazon.com said it would create 100,000 U.S. jobs over the coming 18 months, mainly through new and renovated warehouse facilities.
Walmart said its foundation grant would support projects at six universities through the U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund with an eye on textile manufacturing, “which has proven to be one of the most challenging industries to reshore to the U.S.”