Today’s current unemployment rate is one of the lowest ever seen; and while that’s great for those in the job market, some retailers have found that they’re having more and more trouble securing a certain demographic in the workforce: high school students. As it turns out, high school students are opting to spend their hours outside of school on extracurricular activities, internships or volunteer work rather than at a part-time job. One retail industry giant is hoping to change that trend with a few enticing benefits. Walmart announced last week that in addition to a part-time salary, they will pay for SAT and ACT prep as well as college tuition for every high school employee. The DetailsAccording to CNN, Walmart will offer: • Up to seven hours of college credit. • Free SAT and ACT prep through a designated provider. • Help cover the cost of tuition, books and fees at six non-profit colleges.Last summer, Walmart announced that its employees would only have to pay $1 a day for their college attendance costs, and this offering to high school students is an extension of that benefit. Colleges eligible under this benefit are: University of Florida (Florida), Brandman University (California), Bellevue University (Nebraska), Southern New Hampshire University (New Hampshire), Purdue University Global (Indiana) and Wilmington University (Delaware). All of these institutions provide degrees through online learning programs, enabling anyone in the country to attend. Now, high schools students have the same opportunity. Yes – that’s right – high school students that continue their education and are currently employed by Walmart would only have to pay $1 per day toward their tuition. What’s In It for WalmartCNN states that Walmart hopes to reap long-term benefits from this plan. As they see it, they are investing in their future workforce. High school students that walk through the door and attend college with the help of their tuition assistance package have the potential to become the next generation of leadership within the store’s supply chain and corporate roles. Plus, Walmart has a reputation to keep. According to CNN, more than 300 of Walmart’s 4,700 U.S. store managers began their careers as hourly employees in high school. That applies to the current CEO, Doug McMillon, as well. Since the launch of this college benefit to employees last summer, Walmart has accepted more than 7,500 employees into the program. With the extension to high school students, Walmart estimates that more than 60,000 employees will go through the program in the next four years, CNN reports. Will you be one of them?
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