Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is preparing to graduate Thursday the first cohort of students from its Fulfillment Center Training Academy, which is located at the company’s e-commerce fulfillment center in Plainfield. While the retailer has more 200 training academies nationwide for its retail stores, and several for its distribution centers, this is the first academy opened specifically to train managers and supervisors who work at e-commerce fulfillment sites. More than 80 Walmart employees are graduating Thursday.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Walmart Vice President for U.S. Learning Andy Trainor said the FC Academy is about teaching a tech-enabled skillset as retail evolves.
“It’s really making sure our associates are comfortable and confident in the job that they have and have the skills they need to not only do what they’re working on today but be prepared for the changes that come in the future with it as fast as technology’s changing,” said Trainor.
Trainor says the new Plainfield Training Academy will equip fulfillment center area managers for success in their current roles and familiarize them with the ever-changing technology that Walmart institutes in the supply chain.
“We were very deliberate in making sure these training locations are in an active location. One of the things that we’re very proud of is any facility we choose to be an academy location has to be on process and a very good run site. Because we want the associates as they come in to train to see the right way to do things,” said Trainor.
Trainor says the length of the training varies anywhere from three days to several weeks, depending on what area of the business the manager support.
“We definitely believe continuing education is a key part of our growth. Our associates are a number one asset in so making sure they understand and have the skills they need not only for today, but the future so we can all grow together and serve the customer better is our number one focus,” said Trainor.
Trainor says the FCA in Plainfield is the company’s first, but it intends to open several more across the U.S. as the company builds additional fulfillment centers.
“We feel like it’s important to pull them out of the day to day to focus on the training and get the skills they need, and then go back and train their associates as well on what they learned,” said Trainor.
Walmart announced plans in September 2020 to build a 2.2 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Hancock County. The facility, south of McCordsville, would allow the company to expand its e-commerce operations for both its own online inventory and its third-party fulfillment business, Walmart Fulfillment Services.
Walmart Vice President for U.S. Learning Andy Trainor said the academy is about teaching a brand-new, tech-enabled skillset that will be more prevalent as retail evolves.