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The Washington Court House academy is also the first in the Midwest and the first for grocery products. In all Miller said he expects Walmart will open around 10 academies across the country to serve the 40 grocery, 40 general merchandise and 40 specialty distribution centers, but the plans aren’t set in stone.
“This is a big ask for our (distribution centers) to not only support the day-to-day operations, but make such a big investment in up-scaling our associates throughout Walmart. Washington Court House certainly met that bill,” Miller said.
Walmart is the top Ohio employer, employing nearly 49,000 people.
A majoring of the training at the Washington Court House academy will be on the supply floor, but some is also done in a classroom setting. Employees will study leadership, safety, supply chain foundations and area-specific subjects, according to a statement.
“The biggest thing I took away for it that’s going to help our team is the team building, engaging the associates to come in and do more than one job,” said Andrew Helsel, one of the area managers at the Washington Court House academy that will graduate this month.
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By meeting with all of the different managers from different shifts and teams, Helsel and the other employees are able to learn how other groups perform similar tasks and evaluate how to alter techniques to be more efficient, which could translate to store shelves and and deliveries, he said.
“You get to step back and identify…potential waste in the building,” Helsel said.
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The supply training schools are modeled after the 200 Walmart Academies that train managers and employees, sometimes using virtual reality technology to put the students inside situations. Both the Walmart Academies and Supply Chain academies are expected to help employees succeed in their current roles and create a clear path to career growth, according to the company.
“We believe part of our responsibility is to continue to ensure that our associates have the skills not only to do their jobs today, but jobs for the future,” Miller said. “What we want to do is make sure we’re not only great at the current work but we’re positioning our associates to be future leaders.”
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