The program, Live Better U (LBU), offers employees the chance to attend highly subsidized courses to earn high school diplomas, college degrees, skilled trade diplomas, and professional certificates. Through partnerships with universities like Purdue and eCornell, Walmart employees can choose from a variety of certificates at a cost of just $1 per day. Program participants can also receive personalized, text-based coaching to help them through any challenges that arise.
Along with trade-based programs teaching skills like facilities maintenance and plumbing, LBU also offers programs in subjects like engineering, health sciences, and design. With its added options, the catalog boasts an impressive offering of computer science programs. Participants can earn a BS in computer science from one of three different universities, a BS in cloud computing from Purdue, or certificates in skills such as web development, machine learning, and Python programming.
According to the company, LBU has had over 25,000 participants, most of whom are female and 47% of whom are people of color. With the pandemic threatening so many people's professional futures, the program is a valuable way for Walmart to offer employees more options and more security.
PSFK's researchers included LBU in a paper on how brands can optimize customers' and employees' experiences by implementing empathetic policies and practices. Check out the full research paper here.