Walmart is making its Live Better U educational initiative available to employees in Canada.
Launched in 2018 in partnership with education benefits management company Guild and steadily expanded in the years since, Live Better U was initially designed to provide the 1.5 million Walmart and Sam’s Club associates in the U.S. free access to educational and career-building resources.
Now, Walmart Canada will cover the cost of tuition, books, and course fees for associates through its own Live Better U (LBU) education program. This program marks a $50 million investment over the next five years in associate career-driven learning and development, offered through programs at schools across Canada.
The course offerings were curated based on the new and future needs of the business. Some offerings include:
Growth accelerators such as English as a Second Language, French as a Second Language and GED courses;
Courses and certificates such as project management, data analytics, omni retail, ecommerce, business communications and strategy; and
Degrees and licensing for pharmacy technicians and opticians, with more to come.
All eligible permanent part-time, full-time, and salaried Walmart Canada associates can apply to LBU, which is the latest offering in what Walmart Canada seeks to develop as a comprehensive learning and development program.
In 2022, the retailer launched an AI-enabled platform that provides visibility to internal career paths within the company. In addition, associates have access to on-dememand learning platforms including Harvard Spark, Harvard ManageMentor, and ExecOnline.
“We believe there is a path for everyone at Walmart and we want to remove barriers to high quality education,” said AnnMarie Mercer, chief people officer, Walmart Canada. “We’re proud that through LBU, we’re offering our associates a program designed with them in mind. LBU meets associates where they are on their educational journey by offering online, flexible programs to help them balance work, life and school.”
“LBU has been a game-changer in the U.S. these past five years, and we’re thrilled to expand our footprint and offer this life-changing benefit to even more Walmart associates,” said Lorraine Stomski, senior VP, associate learning & leadership, global people, Walmart. “Our participants are more likely to be promoted and less likely to leave the company than their peers, meaning it helps our people and our business. Nearly 120,000 Walmart U.S. associates have taken advantage of the opportunity to grow with the company while building a brighter future and better life. We can’t wait to see that impact continue to grow with this expansion.”
Walmart Canada operates a chain of more than 400 stores nationwide and its flagship online store, Walmart.ca. With more than 100,000 associates, Walmart Canada is one of Canada's largest employers.