BENTONVILLE, Ark., Jan. 17 (UPI) — Walmart plans to add 10,000 jobs through expansion in the United States, the Bentonville-Ark.-based company announced Tuesday.
The retailer said in a release the jobs will be created through the opening of 59 new, expanded and relocated Walmart and Sam’s Club outlets as well as e-commerce services. The company also said an estimated 34,000 construction workers will used for projects.
Walmart employs 2.4 mililon associates worldwide — including 1.4 million in the United States — at 11,593 stories in 28 countries with revenue of $482.1 billion, according to the company. Forbes ranks Walmart as the largest retailer in the United States.
Last year, Walmart cut 10,000 store jobs after closing its 154 Walmart Express stores, and some 7,000 back-office positions were also eliminated.
The 2017 plans are part of a $6.8 billion of capital investments in the United States in the coming fiscal year, which starts in February.
Walmart also plans to beef up its training, opening 160 new training academies around the country, bringing the total to 200. The company said more than 225,000 associates will receive up to six weeks of specialty training and graduate from the academies this year.
“The training is designed to help associates be successful in their careers and in meeting the changing needs of customers,” the company said in a release.
This year, the Walmart Foundation will provide $3 million in grants through the U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund to six universities “working to advance sustainability and innovations in textile manufacturing, which has proven to be one of the most challenging industries to reshore to the U.S.”
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have funded $10 million in grants since 2014. The six schools are Washington State, North Carolina State, Clemson, Oregon State, Texas Tech and University of Massachusetts Lowell.
In 2013, Walmart committed to purchase an additional $250 billion in American-made, grown, assembled and sourced products through 2023 and estimated to help create 1 million jobs.
The announcement comes as President-elect Donald Trump has criticized companies for moving jobs abroad or created new manufacturing locations overseas.
“It’s always important to articulate how you’re creating jobs in your country,” Dan Bartlett, Walmart executive vice president for corporate affairs, said in an interview with The Washington Post. “Obviously, the conversation happening in our country right now, there’s a role for the private sector to have a voice in that conversation. And I think companies should be proud to stand up and talk about how they’re making positive contributions in their communities. So the timing seems right.”