Walmart Marks 25 Years in New Jersey with Grand Opening of Training Academy in Williamstown

Walmart is opening its first New Jersey training academy in Williamstown today, marking the company’s 25th anniversary of operations, economic growth and community support in the Garden State.

Walmart opened its first New Jersey store in Gloucester County in 1991, and has since expanded to 71 locations that employ more than 21,000 associates. The new academy training facility will be adjacent to the Williamstown store – less than seven miles from the first New Jersey Walmart – and represents the company’s ongoing commitment to its New Jersey associates.

“We have deep roots here in New Jersey and we’re proud of our associates and all they do for our customers and communities across the state,” said Thomas Underwood, regional general manager, Walmart. “It’s fitting that while we celebrate 25 years in the Garden State we’ll also be launching what we believe will be one of the keys to the success of our business for many years to come. The education and training our associates will receive at this Academy will enable us to run even better stores and help our associates turn a job at Walmart into a great career.”

The grand opening of the Williamstown academy will also include recognition of all Walmart’s 25-year associates in New Jersey – including more than a dozen who started at the first store.

Walmart’s Academies are a dedicated facility located in, or adjacent to, a Walmart Supercenter where hourly supervisors and department managers will receive two weeks of hands-on training that combines both the classroom and the sales floor.

“Our training academies help provide associates with the skills they need to succeed and advance, while creating a better and more consistent customer experience,” said Thomas Underwood, regional general manager, Walmart. “Skills training increases productivity, confidence and knowledge which leads to greater job satisfaction, personal and professional growth and helps make working at Walmart a smart career choice.”

Walmart has created a new, end-to-end training program called Pathways for associates at all levels of store operations, from entry-level to Regional General Manager. Hourly frontline supervisors and department managers will attend a dedicated two-week training program at the academy facility as part of Pathways.

  • The first week is dedicated to retail fundamentals and gaining core retail skills.
  • The second week is dedicated to training on the sales floor to gain the knowledge and skills to run the specific department where the associate works.
  • Areas of study include leadership, merchandising, operations, technology and customer service, in addition to the department-specific training.
  • Academy graduates will have the skills and confidence to run outstanding departments, lead people, and deliver a great customer experience.

Walmart plans to build approximately 200 academies in the U.S. by the end of 2017. Each academy will train associates from approximately 25 nearby stores. Benefits include:

  • Making training more accessible to more associates. By being closer to where people work and live, associates can be home each night, rather than being away from home for two weeks of training.
  • Taking associates out of their home store so they can focus solely on training for two weeks while still utilizing a real-life Walmart sales floor as a training environment.
  • Training more than 140,000 associates a year.

Each academy will have its own team of approximately 14 associates with retail operations experience to lead the training. All academy stores go through a rigorous auditing process to make sure they are able to deliver the teaching, training and development that associates should receive at the academy.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s Commitment to New Jersey

  • 71 retail locations.
  • More than 21,000 full- and part-time associates in the state.
  • During fiscal year 2016, the company paid $64.8 million in taxes.*
  • During fiscal year 2016, the company spent $12.6 billion with New Jersey suppliers –- which in turn provide an estimated 72,000 jobs.**
  • More than 1,300 veterans hired in the state since May 2013.
  • As part of a company-wide wage increase earlier this year, the average full-time, hourly associate in New Jersey now earns $13.98 per hour.
  • $3.2 million in second quarter cash bonuses awarded to 13,300 hourly associates in the state.
  • Recent internal data shows, over the past 25 years in New Jersey, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have:
    • Contributed more than $45 million in cash and in-kind donations to a broad range of charitable and community organizations.
    • Contributed more than 13 million pounds of food, the equivalent of more than 11 million meals.
    • Helped raise more than $3.4 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
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