By Tamas Mondovics

Brandon area’s first Walmart Training Academy opened as well as celebrated its first graduating class.
The two-week long class, hosted at the company’s Brandon store at 11110 Causeway Blvd. welcomed 70 associates in lead positions from 26 area stores and is just one of 200 Training Academies Walmart has scheduled to open across the country by the end of 2017.

Each academy is said to train associates from approximately 25 nearby stores.

Excited about the course, officials explained that Walmart Training Academies are a dedicated facility located in, or adjacent to, a Walmart Supercenter where the company’s front-line supervisors will receive hands-on training that combines the classroom and the sales floor.

Areas of study include leadership, merchandising, operations, technology and customer service, in addition to the department-specific training.

“The training helps department managers and hourly supervisors to benefit in two specific ways, which in turn benefit our customers,” said Walmart spokesperson Erica Jones. “Our associates gain both core retail skills, and the skills and knowledge to run their specific department. The Academies are part of Walmart’s $2.7 billion commitment to its associates.”

“Our training academies help provide associates with the skills they need to succeed and advance, while creating a better and more consistent customer experience,” said Walmart Academy Manager Daniel Honores. “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.”

“As they are returning to their own store locations, academy graduates are much more confident of running their departments,” Jones added.

Walmart is reportedly training more than 140,000 associates per year.

Additional information about Walmart can be found at on Facebook @walmart and on Twitter at @walmart.

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