The President-elect has promised to be the biggest job creator ever but the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail giant plans to put over a million Americans to work.
The company, which employs 1.5 million workers in the U.S., just announced plans to create 34,000 jobs in 2017. Walmart will also make investments in the careers of current employees, the textile industry at large and growing U.S. suppliers.
This announcement comes after the chain announced jobs cuts in September. At the time, the company said it would restructure, which meant eliminating 7,000 desk jobs from 4,600 of its U.S. locations. And just last week, rumors were swirling that jobs in its human resources department were on the chopping block.
The new opportunities will include 10,000 retail jobs in 59 new, expanded or relocated Walmart and Sam’s Club stores as well as its e-commerce division. The opening and remodeling of these facilities will put another 24,000 people to work, the company estimates.
“Walmart is investing to better serve customers,” said Dan Bartlett, Walmart executive vice president for corporate affairs. “With a presence in thousands of communities and a vast supplier network, we know we play an important role in supporting and creating American jobs. Our 2017 plans to grow our business – and our support for innovation in the textile industry – will have a meaningful impact across the country.”
In addition to expanding its workforce, the retailer is also investing in it. The company is expanding its training academies, which offer a six-week program through which supervisors and assistant store managers receive hands-on training in retail fundamentals, leadership and tips for running store departments. By July, the ranks of the academies will increase from 40 to 200, serving 225,000 employees.
The company also reiterated its goal for creating jobs even beyond its walls. Through Walmart’s previously announced commitment to purchasing $250 billion in American-made goods, the company estimates it will help create one million jobs by 2023.
Walmart is also taking a leading role in advancing sustainability and innovation in textile manufacturing by providing $3 million in grants to six universities through the U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund. The universities, which include Washington State, North Carolina State, Texas Tech and the University of Massachusetts Lowell, will each have a different focus. Areas of research will comprise developing sustainable, cost-effective dyeing and printing of smart fabrics and creating a sustainable process to recycle cotton waste by fiber regeneration using a wet spinning technique.