Walmart and Sam's Club just announced a special perk for all of their employees. The company said that it will pay 100% of college tuition and books for associates who enroll in their Live Better U education program.

This means approximately 1.5 million part-time and full-time Walmart and Sam’s Club associates in the U.S. can earn college degrees or learn trade skills without the burden of education debt.

Walmart is the largest private employer in the U. S., and put out a news release that went on to say, Walmart is committing to invest nearly $1 billion over the next five years in career-driven training and development.

They are adding in-demand college degree and certificate options in business administration, supply chain and cybersecurity. They will also add four academic partners, including Johnson & Wales University, the University of Arizona, the University of Denver and Pathstream. These complement the existing partners: Brandman University, Penn Foster, Purdue University Global, Southern New Hampshire University, Wilmington University and Voxy EnGen.

It's no doubt that cost is a leading barrier for earning a degree with student loan debt in the U.S. topping $1.7 trillion dollars. Since launching LBU program at Walmart in 2018, more than 52,000 associates have participated in the program to date and 8,000 have already graduated. Nearly 28,000 associates have been active in a LBU program this summer alone.

All jokes like the "lovely women shoppers at Walmart," aside, the company is taking a seriously major step in helping prepare their employees for the future. Education is a major avenue to a brighter future and all private companies and industry need to step it up!

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