(MARKET WATCH) – Walmart Inc. has announced expanded education benefits in an effort to bring more high school students onto its payroll at a time when the labor market is especially tight.
"$1-a-day" college degree program will now offer high school students jobs with incentives that include scheduling flexibility, free ACT and SAT preparation and up to seven hours of free college credit.
In the announcement, Walmart cites data showing that student loan debt in the U.S. has reached nearly $1.5 trillion while only 26 percent of teens will have a job by 2024.
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Currently, more than 7,500 associates across the U.S. have been accepted into at least one of Walmart's education programs. Walmart launched its education program about a year ago.
"To meet the future needs of the organization, we need a pipeline that we can leverage that we currently aren't leveraging today," Julie Murphy, Walmart U.S.'s executive vice president of people, said on a media call.