Walmart announced Tuesday that it will begin offering free college tuition and textbooks to their 1.5 million employees across the country including employees of Sam’s Club.
The move is part of the corporation’s campaign to attract and retain workers at a time when the labor market is tight.
The company announced that it will invest approximately $1 billion over the next five years in development programs and vocational training for employees who wish to pursue business and marketing majors that are in high-demand. Walmart previously required employees to donate $1 a day to participate in the program.
The Walmart Live Better U educational campaign was started three years ago to help employees move up in the company. Employees can choose from 10 academic partners such as the University of Arizona and Purdue University Global to achieve their education goals. More than 52,000 employees have participated, and 8,000 have graduated in the last two and a half years.