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Learn English Through the News – Walmart is offering its employees college educations for $1 a day

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Learn English Through the News – Walmart is offering its employees college educations for $1 a day

Original Article: Walmart is offering its employees college educations for $1 a day

Walmart will subsidize (trợ cấp) the college education of its 1.5 million US associates, the most recent effort by the retailer to rebrand (tái tạo danh tiếng) itself as an employee-friendly company.

The benefit is available to all workers employed at Walmart for at least 90 days, the company announced today. Associates can take online classes toward associates’ or bachelors’ degrees in business or supply-chain management at one of three non-profit (phi lợi nhuận) universities. The institutions (trường Đại học) —the University of Florida, Brandman University (in Irvine, Califronia), and Bellevue University (in Nebraska)—were chosen for their experience working with adult learners. Walmart will subsidize tuition, fees, and books, and provide education coaching. Employees are asked to contribute the equivalent (tương đương) of $1 a day, but the program is designed to produce debt-free graduates.

Walmart isn’t the first employer to offer free or subsidized college education to its employees—Starbucks announced a similar program with Arizona State in 2014—but it surely (chắc chắn) is the biggest. The benefit fits into CEO Doug McMillon’s campaign to transform Walmart’s reputation (nổi tiếngfrom that of a notoriously (khét tiếng) harsh (khắt khe) employer to one of a modern, progressive company in an effort to woo customers and employees as it battles Amazon.

The college plan builds on a program Walmart announced in 2016 to offer high school equivalency classes to employees and their families, and a company-wide training initiative through 200 academies it’s opening across the US. As part of the college program, hours spent training at the academies can be applied to university credit (tín chỉ).

The new college benefit might help slow the massive employee exodus (di chuyển) the company experiences each year. Walmart hires 600,000 workers annually, and the more it invests in training them, the more eager it is for them to stay longer than a year. Walmart invested $2.7 billion over 2015 and 2016 to raise wages (lương), in part to reduce turnover. The promise of debt-free college tuition may encourage workers to stick around a little longer, too.

Vocabulary Highlight

Subsidize (v) /ˈsʌb.sɪ.daɪz/ to pay part of the cost of something

He raises the question as to whether the fine arts should be subsidized by public funds.

Rebrand (v) /ˌriːˈbrænd/ to change the way that an organization, company, or product is seen by the public

We’ll show you how to rebrand your organization in ten easy stages.

Institutions (n) /ˌɪn.stɪˈtʃuː.ʃən/ a large and important organization, such as a university or bank

Harvard University is an internationally respected institution.

Equivalent (adj) /ɪˈkwɪv.əl.ənt/ having the same amount, value, purpose, qualities

She’s doing the equivalent job in the new company but for more money.

Surely (adv) /ˈʃɔː.li/ used to express that you are certain or almost certain about something

Without more food and medical supplies, these people will surely not survive.

Reputation (n) /ˌrep.jəˈteɪ.ʃən/ the opinion that people in general have about someone or something

The company has a worldwide reputation for quality.

Notoriously (adj) /nəʊˈtɔː.ri.əs/ famous for something bad

He was notorious for his violent and threatening behaviour.

Harsh (adj) /hɑːʃ/ unpleasant, unkind, cruel, or more severe than is necessary

The children had had a harsh upbringing.

Woo (v) /wuː/ to try to persuade someone to support you or to use your business

The airline has been offering discounted tickets to woo passengers away from their competitors.

Credit (n) Course unit

Each of these classes is worth three credits.

Exodus (n) /ˈek.sə.dəs/ the movement of a lot of people from a place

There has been a mass exodus of workers from the villages to the towns.

Wages (n) /ˈweɪ·dʒəz/ the money earned by an employee, esp. when paid for the hours worked

He was notorious for being anti-union and for paying low wages.

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