The Walmart Supercenter in Del City is major shopping destination and large employer in the Mid-Del area.
The store added another distinction this week as became a regional training academy for Walmart employees. The academies will provide hourly supervisors and department managers with two weeks of hands-on training that combines both the classroom and the sales floor.
Walmart officials opened the new training academy Tuesday morning with a large celebration outside the Del City store, located at 5401 Tinker Diagonal. City leaders, school officials, students and community members attended the hour-long event.
In addition to the ribbon cutting for the new training academy, Walmart celebrated the first class of graduating department managers and hourly supervisors during the ceremony. More than 50 men and women, dressed in blue and yellow caps and gowns, walked across the stage and received a diploma. All of the graduates are current associates at the Del City store.
“We know that we give back to our associates and they give back to the stores and it builds customers,” said Carol Johnson, senior vice president of Walmart operations for the south central division. “I want to say congratulations to all of you. It’s a big deal. It’s a big deal what you accomplished and what you’re going to give back.”
Walmart also donated $10,000 to the Mid-Del Public Schools Foundation and Del City Police and Fire Departments, and $5,000 to the Mid-Del Food Pantry.
Mayor Brian Linley complimented Walmart for its investment in the community and employees at the Del City store for their excellent customer service.
“Walmart is not just about your store here but what you bring to the community,” Linley said. “You’re one of the largest employers in town. And the financial impact that Walmart has to this community and the surrounding area is phenomenal.”
The Del City training academy is the second in Oklahoma and one of 200 planned across the country. The first Oklahoma location in Broken Arrow opened earlier this month. The Del City academy will serve about 25 stores in the Oklahoma City metro and as far away as Lawton.
“We support associates with all of their expenses when they come, so they come and dedicate themselves to training for two weeks,” said Kristen Wilkinson, senior director of US Central Operations.
Academies are dedicated facilities located in, or adjacent to, Walmart Supercenters. The Del City academy is located in the remodeled space in the back of the store. Each academy will be led by 14 experienced associates. The academies can accommodate up to 90 people.
The first week of the training program is dedicated to retail foundational skill sets. The second week is dedicated to training on the sales floor to gain the knowledge and skills to run the specific department where the associate works.