Walmart creates degree benefit for N.J., U.S. associates

Walmart announced Wednesday that its New Jersey workers are among those eligible for a new education benefit that could help them earn a college degree.

The retail giant said it has partnered with Guild Education to provide access to associate and bachelor’s degrees in business or supply chain management. Under the program, Walmart will subsidize the cost of the degree, beyond financial aid and an employee contribution it said would be equivalent to $1 a day. Degrees will be offered through adult learning programs at the University of Florida, Brandman University and Bellevue University.

“Investing in the personal and professional success of our associates is vital to Walmart’s future success,” Greg Foran, CEO of Walmart U.S., said in a prepared statement. “We know training and learning opportunities empower associates to deliver for customers while growing and advancing in their careers.”

The independent Lumina Foundation will research and measure the impact and effectiveness of the program, Walmart said.

“I commend Walmart for trying an innovative strategy to increase the skills and post-secondary education of its workers, and for committing to have the Lumina Foundation conduct an independent evaluation of the program,” Alan Krueger, professor of economics at Princeton University, said in a statement. “I look forward to studying Lumina’s findings.”

All Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club associates are eligible, the company said. The company employs more than 21,000 associates in New Jersey.