retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The New York Times this morning reports that Walmart “is dipping its toe into the online-education waters, working with a Web-based university to offer its employees in the United States affordable college degrees.”

According to the story, American Public University “will offer eligible employees 15 percent price reductions on tuition, and Wal-Mart will invest $50 million over three years in other tuition assistance for the employees who participate ... To be eligible for the program, employees must have been in the job at least one year full time, or three years part time, and must also score ‘on target’ or ‘above target’ on their most recent evaluation.”

Walmart says that it hopes by encouraging and partially funding education programs, it will end up with a higher-level work force.

“It’s important because it reflects the kind of company we are,” Eduardo Castro-Wright, Walmart’s US CEO, told employees attending the company’s annual meetings in Arkansas. “A company that says, ‘Anyone who wants to learn, who wants to grow with us, who is willing to work hard to get a college degree, can do that.’ ”
KC's View:
I love this idea. An educated workforce is a better, more motivated and more innovative workforce.