By Ashley Helms
As part of Walmart’s additional $1 billion investment in its workers this year, Walmart will be giving pay raises to 15,703 associates in Virginia for the pay period starting April 4th. With the raises, associates earn at least $1.75 an hour above the federal minimum wage and the Virginia minimum wage. The new full-time average hourly wage in Virginia is now $12.72.
This is the first company-wide increase in wages since its announcement in February to provide even more opportunity for its workers. As of April 4th, all Walmart associates earn at least $9 per hour and by February 2016 all current associates will earn at least $10 per hour. Walmart is also raising the floor and ceiling of its in-store pay bands in most stores and is providing raises to associates earning at the maximum of their pay band.
Starting wages are just one part of Walmart’s commitment to providing associates with clearer career opportunities. Through its Opportunity initiative, Walmart is opening doors for existing and new associates by providing increased scheduling flexibility and control, and new training opportunities for continued growth and advancement beyond entry-level jobs.
“I am very thankful for the recent bump in my paycheck. Walmart continues to provide us with more opportunities to grow within the company and this pay raise is just the first step.” said Leslie Little, Greeter, Store #1523.
Walmart is acting purposefully on wages all along the opportunity ladder. For example, the company is reexamining the department manager roles and will raise the starting wage for some of them to at least $13/hour this summer and at least $15/hour early next year. As part of the company’s commitment to associate success, Walmart is also implementing comprehensive changes to its hiring, training, compensation, and scheduling programs, as well as its store structure.
Walmart associates from Virginia and around the country will have greater choice in their work scheduling to better fit their individual needs. To ensure consistency, some associates will have access to fixed schedules that will not change for at least six months. Associates also will have the option to pick their own shifts or continue to be scheduled systematically based on their availability.
Associates will also be introduced to a new development and training program developed by Walmart workers that allows them to improve and build the skills necessary to grow and enhance their careers. The goal of Walmart’s transformation effort is to set the stage for future associates and showcase the unique ways Walmart offers appropriate onboarding and training. Robust onboarding and training programs are essential for associates and their careers, ensuring a greater chance for promotions and other advancements.