CHICAGO, April 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of Walmart's additional $1 billion investment in its workers this year, Walmart is giving pay raises to 12,523 associates in Illinois for the pay period starting April 4th. With the raises, associates earn at least $1.75 an hour above the federal minimum wage and $.75 above the Illinois minimum wage. The new full-time average hourly wage in Illinois is now $13.10.
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.
"Working at Walmart allows me to provide for my children and lead a more independent life," said Alika Hankton, a single mother of three who was recently promoted to a Pharmacy Technician at the Auburn Gresham Neighborhood Market. "Walmart has provided the training and education necessary for me to quickly move up in the company and pursue my dream of working in the pharmacy. I see myself growing here – the sky's the limit for me now."
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.
"We applaud Walmart for increasing the pay of its workers and for taking this major step to ensure that their employees are put on a path to advance their careers within the company," said Andrea L. Zopp, president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. "As a longtime community partner with Walmart that has helped place hundreds of employees in several Illinois stores, we know that this pay increase provides career potential and will be embraced by current and future Walmart associates."
Walmart associates from Illinois 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.
NOTE: 12,523 associates began earning the higher pay beginning with the April 4th pay period; the first pay check to include the additional income will be delivered on April 23rd.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere -- in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit our 11,053 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries and ecommerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2014 sales of over $473 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.