Winter Haven, Fla., Sept. 29, 2020 — Today, the Walmart Distribution Center in Winter Haven celebrated the grand opening and first graduating class of the new Walmart Supply Chain Training Academy, created specifically to help distribution center associates build the skills they need to become the next generation of supply chain leaders.
The Winter Haven Supply Chain Academy is only the fourth of its kind nationwide. Supply chain associates play a critical role helping keep store shelves stocked with items customers need. As the global pandemic continues, Walmart remains committed to investing in training associates to help them meet the needs of customers today.
“The retail landscape is going to keep evolving rapidly during and after the pandemic,” said Karisa Sprague, Senior Vice President of the Supply Chain People team. “Preparing associates for the future of work is perhaps as critical as it’s ever been, and I can’t wait to see the impact of the Supply Chain Academy team’s hard work.”
Walmart Supply Chain Academies are patterned after the 200 Walmart Academies that train store associates across the U.S. All Academies have a dedicated staff who provide training to position associates to succeed in their current roles and provide a path for career growth with the company. Walmart President and Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon started his career in a distribution center, and the Supply Chain Academies will equip DC associates to be leaders of the future too.
Due to COVID-19, the Supply Chain Academy team will train associates virtually with the goal of transitioning to on-site classroom training. The Winter Haven Academy’s areas of study will include leadership, safety, supply chain foundations and area-specific training.
“Our company’s foundation is built on the belief that our people make the difference,” Sprague said. “While our customers’ lives and shopping habits continue to change, our company will change with them. Training our associates on skills to meet their needs now and in the future will always be a worthy investment.”
Walmart plans to expand the Supply Chain Academy program in 2021. The retailer’s 200 distribution centers, fulfillment centers and transportation offices employ 100,000 associates, including more than 9,500 over-the-road truck drivers.
About Walmart in Florida
In Florida, we serve customers at 384 retail units and online through Walmart.com and our family of brands. We are proud to employ more than 100,000 associates in the Sunshine State. Walmart supports local businesses, spending $7.4 billion with Florida suppliers in FYE 2020. Walmart continues to be a leader in employment opportunity, sustainability, and corporate philanthropy. In FYE 2020, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation contributed $81 million in cash and in-kind donations to local nonprofits in Florida.