One of the world’s largest employers has opened a training center right here in Loudoun County.
Walmart celebrated the opening of its Dulles-based training facility Tuesday morning. The Walmart Training Academy is at 24635 Dulles Landing Drive in the existing Walmart Supercenter off Rt. 50, and is the company’s only training academy in Virginia.
According to a press release, Walmart’s training academies are dedicated facilities where hourly supervisors and department managers receive two weeks of hands-on training that combines both the classroom and the sales floor.
“Our training academies help provide associates with the skills they need to succeed and advance, while creating a better and more consistent customer experience,” Bob Davis, Walmart regional general manager, stated. “Skills training increases productivity, confidence and knowledge which leads to greater job satisfaction, personal and professional growth and helps make working at Walmart a smart career choice.”
Walmart has created a new, end-to-end training program called Pathways for associates at all levels of store operations, from entry-level to regional general manager. Hourly frontline supervisors and department managers will attend a dedicated two-week program at the academy as part of Pathways. Areas of focus include retail fundamentals and core retail skills; on-the-floor training to help run specific departments; leadership; merchandising; operations; technology; and customer service.
The company says it plans to build about 200 academies in the U.S. by the end of 2017. Each academy will train associates from approximately 25 nearby stores, and have its own team of a dozen or so associates with retail operations experience leading the training. All academy stores go through a rigorous auditing process to make sure they are able to deliver the teaching, training and development that associates should receive at the academy.
Among the benefits of the academy cited by Walmart are making training more accessible to more associates, allowing them to train closer to where they work rather than being away from home for the two-week training period.