Walmart provides new in-demand technology degrees for associates and
gives high school students an on-ramp to the workforce and path to
college through retailer’s debt-free degree benefit
BENTONVILLE, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Walmart is committed to winning the future of retail and knows investing
in its people is essential to serving customers today and in the future.
To help prepare its workforce for tomorrow, the retailer is expanding
its Live Better U education benefit to include new technology degrees
and certificates for $1 a day and offering high school students a bridge
into the workforce, including access to all its learning programs.
These enhancements come a year after Walmart announced the education
benefit, which is designed to help remove barriers — like cost, time and
earning a relevant degree in a changing economy — that too often keep
adult learners from furthering their educations.
High school students face challenges when it comes to work and
education. The cost of college remains a significant barrier for many
high school students, which often leads to costly student loans. The
Center for Microeconomic Data recently reported that student loan debt
is now nearly $1.5
trillion. At the same time, fewer and fewer teens are entering the
workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It estimates
that by 2024 only 26
percent of teens will have a job. It’s been shown that having a job
helps teens build confidence, work ethic, independence, financial
knowledge, and perhaps most importantly, creates work experience that
helps students as they transition into adulthood and a career.
“Walmart values learning in all forms, and we are committed to creating
a workforce of lifelong learners and instilling in them excitement for
retail and a passion for serving customers,” said Greg Foran, president
and CEO of Walmart U.S. “Access to higher education is one way to grow
your career. So, in addition to providing people with an entry to the
workforce and access to our on-the-job training I’m proud Walmart also
offers our associates programs like Live Better U to help them achieve
their educational goals.”
High School Expansion
Walmart’s program provides students an end-to-end workforce solution,
from access to jobs, to building foundational soft skills and more
advanced skills through work-based training, and an opportunity to earn
a debt-free college degree. Along with other eligible Walmart
associates, high school students will now have access to:
Jobs with scheduling options for flexibility or core hours (work the
same days and shifts for up to 13 weeks),
- Free ACT and SAT prep,
Up to seven hours of free college credit
through Live Better U’s College Start program, and
A debt-free college degree through Live Better U (upon high school
completion) in the in-demand fields of technology, business or supply
chain management at six nonprofit universities.
Technology Degrees and Certificates
Walmart is expanding its offering of debt-free degrees that associates
can earn through Live Better U. The additional 14 technology degrees and
certificates — like cyber security, computer science, computer and
network security and computing technology — are in addition to the
business and supply chain degrees currently offered for $1 a day.
The technology additions to Live Better U highlight the importance of
Walmart’s enterprise-wide digital transformation while also providing
associates opportunities for economic mobility. Live Better U’s
technology programs — in addition to the retail management and business
management degrees — create career pathways both within the retailer and
externally. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment
in computer fields grew by 21 percent from 2009 to 2015 — more than
four times the rate of roles outside of the STEM (science, technology,
engineering and math) sector.
In the coming months, the company plans to add even more degrees and
certificates in additional fields that will support both the growing
Walmart business and demand in the overall U.S. workforce.
Walmart is creating the Live Better U Scholar Awards, a graduation bonus
program for Walmart U.S. store associates who have not previously
completed college credits. The award underscores Live Better U’s focus
on completion, celebrates the associate’s achievements, and will offset
— and in many cases pay back — the associate’s $1 a day contribution to
the program. Up to 5,000 associates each year will be eligible for the
awards valued at $1,500 each.
About Live Better U
Live Better U meets associates where they are on their educational
journey by creating access, removing barriers and empowering associates
to go as far in their education — and careers — as their hard work and
talents will take them. The program includes the debt-free $1 a day
degree program, free high school completion for associates and eligible
family members, discounts on higher education programs like master’s
degrees, free foreign language learning and much more — all in
partnership with Guild Education. Additionally, associates can get
college credit for training they receive on the job through our
Academies. Hundreds of thousands of associates have already undergone
skills training equivalent to more than $300 million in college credits
toward the program.
Associates can now earn degrees and certificates at six nonprofit
universities, which were selected for their success with adult learners.
Southern New Hampshire University, Purdue University Global and
Wilmington University are new to Live Better U and join University of
Florida, Brandman University and Bellevue University.
Less than a year after launch, more than 7,500 Walmart associates from
all 50 states have been accepted into at least one of the programs —
ahead of the retailer’s projections.
“Since launching with Guild a year ago, thousands of Walmart associates
have now headed back to school debt-free, collectively saving tens of
millions of dollars in student debt,” said Rachel Carlson, CEO of Guild
Education. “As the largest employer in the nation, Walmart’s education
program is creating unparalleled access for millions of Americans to
gain a meaningful education and economic mobility.”
What Others are Saying about Live Better U
Paul LeBlanc, president and CEO of Southern New Hampshire University
is taking the lead on workforce development, connecting their employees
with the opportunity to earn a degree that will help them get ahead in
their life and career without taking on debt. SNHU’s collaboration with
Walmart will expand access to education for thousands of associates and
is a model for aligning employer demand with the kind of
workforce-applicable higher education we have pioneered at SNHU.”
Dr. Mary Hawkins, President of Bellevue University
Better U is more than an education assistance program; it’s a strategy
that creates opportunities to learn and apply learning at work. We’ve
had incredibly active student participation by Walmart associates in our
business cohort degree programs, and we’ve seen retention rates that are
above our university average. It’s been a remarkable first year of the
program, and we are excited to embark on year 2 as we expand our degree
offerings to Walmart associates.”
Rachel Carlson, CEO of Guild Education
of the Live Better U program — adding technology degrees and
certificates like computer science and cybersecurity — is another step
in the company’s significant commitment to train and educate workers for
jobs of the future.”
John Gomperts, president and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance
need people who have the education and skills to thrive in a
fast-changing workplace. That’s why Walmart’s investment in developing
the education and workplace skills of its employees is so significant.
Walmart is showing how employers can help young people be ready,
connected, and supported to succeed in the workplace.”
Danette Howard, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at
“Lumina is proud to partner with Walmart to
measure the effects of the Live Better U program on its employees and
its bottom line. Many companies support employees with tuition benefits,
but few have built programs like Walmart’s, which is built to encourage
workers to finish their educations. The introduction of the graduation
bonus is one more way Walmart is creating pathways for its associates.”
Eric Seleznow, senior adviser for JFF
“There is real power
in work-based learning. When young people work, they gain critical
employment skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, and communications.
These skills serve them well immediately and in their future. This
enhanced program is the latest example of how employers can step up to
support continued education and learning for America’s young people and
prepare them for the careers of today and tomorrow.”
Walmart 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, over 275 million customers and
members visit our more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27
countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2019 revenue of
$514.4 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 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.
Media Relations Contact:
Valens expands Exclusive Licence Agreement to Bring Leading Cannabis-Infusion Technology to New International Markets
Valens GroWorks Corp. (TSXV: VGW) (OTCQX: VGWCF) (the “Company” or “Valens“), a cannabinoid-based product company with industry leading extraction, next generation cannabinoid delivery formats and an ISO 17025 accredited analytical lab, is pleased to announce that it has entered an amended manufacturing and sales licence agreement with SōRSE Technology Corporation (“SōRSE“) which grants Valens an exclusive licence for Canada, Europe, Australia and Mexico to use the proprietary SōRSE emulsion technology (“the Technology“) to produce, market, package, sell and distribute cannabis-infused products (the “Agreement“).
“This Agreement shows Valens’ commitment to invest and broaden its IP portfolio and enable its customers to bring differentiated, next generation products to market,” said Jeff Fallows, President of Valens. “As we move into “Cannabis 2.0” in Canada, we believe the products that offer consistent, high quality and predictable user experiences, like those we are able to create with SōRSE, will capture the lion’s share of attention and be the hallmark for brand development in a strict regulatory environment. With this expanded agreement in place, we have extended this opportunity for our existing customers to key international markets and at the same time established a platform for international consumer brands to add high quality, cannabis infused products to their portfolios.”
The SōRSE Emulsion Technology
The SōRSE emulsion technology transforms cannabis oil into water-soluble forms for use in beverages, edibles, topicals and other consumer products without the burden of cannabis taste, colour or smell. The Technology allows these cannabis infused products to maintain potency when heated, chilled or frozen and provides a number of other key advantages as well, including: (1) a faster observed onset time compared to other infused beverages and edibles, (2) a significant reduction of offset time, (3) an ability to use lower doses of cannabinoids due to the enhanced bioavailability provided by the Technology, and (4) increased consistency and stability with some product formulations achieving more than one-year shelf stability with no evidence of separation.
“We are proud to expand our partnership with Valens and leverage their near-term access to various global markets,” says Howard Lee, CEO of SōRSE. “Over the last year, our team of more than 40 plus professionals has continued to actively focus on creating and developing innovative, desirable products and formats of consumption for cannabis consumers. As emulsion technology becomes more popular through new delivery methods such as ingestion, transdermal, topical and more, it is imperative that quality and safety in consumption leads all innovation in this sector. This is a shared value and mandate that our teams at SōRSE and Valens both prioritize. We look forward to continuing this working relationship with Valens and introducing our award-winning emulsion technology to the global markets.”
The Agreement grants Valens an exclusive licence to use the Technology in Canada, Europe, Australia and Mexico (except in respect of medical applications requiring clinical trials) during the initial 5-year term, subject to certain performance milestones. This increases the addressable market from 37 million in the current Canada only agreement to 700 million people in the new Agreement, an increase of almost 20x. Furthermore, the Agreement provides a framework for Valens to obtain rights to establish non-exclusive agreements to sell cannabis-infused products using the Technology in the U.S. market and other markets, globally.
Bolstering “Cannabis 2.0” Platform
With the expanded exclusivity, Valens and its white label clients are positioned to not only succeed in the Canadian market, but also in the rapidly emerging legal cannabis and hemp-derived CBD markets in Europe, Australia, Mexico and beyond. The Agreement adds to the Company’s leading white label product offerings across numerous “Cannabis 2.0” categories such as beverages, edibles, transdermal products and more, enabling Valens to better serve its current and future partners.
“We have seen incredible interest from our current and potential clients regarding the SōRSE emulsion technology and we are thrilled to finalize the expanded licence agreement with SōRSE,” said Tyler Robson, CEO of Valens. “We expect the expanded exclusive territory will provide our clients with improved visibility and greater opportunity as they look to build global businesses around cannabis-infused products over the long term.
This is an exciting time in the evolution of ingestible cannabis products such as beverages and edibles. Historically, ingestible products have been lacking the necessary technology to provide a consistent, predictable experience, ultimately giving little reason to consume in this manner. At Valens, we expect that properly formulated, extract-based cannabis products, and infused beverages in particular, could disrupt many established beverage categories such as soft drinks, sports drinks, value-added water and alcohol, the latter of which has a monthly spend per capita that is roughly 16 times higher compared to legal cannabis spend in Canada. We believe the ability to plan an occasion and predict the outcome of use will be a game changer in the market and be the catalyst to bring about the full market potential of cannabis infused beverages and edibles, globally.”
Future White Label Services
The Agreement furthers the existing relationship between Valens and SōRSE and enables Valens to produce and sell SōRSE’s portfolio of branded products in Canada and the other exclusive markets at the option of the Company. These branded products include Happy Apple, a cannabis-infused sparkling cider and Major, a cannabis-infused fruit drink, both recognized as top selling cannabis beverages in the State of Washington, Pearl20, a cannabis-infused food and beverage mixer, and the Utopia line of cannabis-infused sparkling water, among others.
The consideration at closing for the exclusivity in the expanded geography was US$10 million, comprised of US$6 million in cash and US$4 million to be issued in common shares of the Company (the “Common Shares“). The Agreement carries an initial 5-year exclusive term with a 2-year renewal of the exclusivity, subject to certain performance milestones related to operational and financial achievements (the “Milestones“). As part of the Agreement, Valens will transfer to SōRSE royalty payments calculated as a percentage of sales (the “Royalty Payments“) and the Royalty Payments will be subject to an annual minimum of $2 million over the 5-year term. The Agreement also provides for a continuation of the Agreement on a non-exclusive basis after the 2-year renewal, subject to annual minimum royalty payments.
All Common Shares pursuant to the Agreement were issued at an indicative price of CDN$3.0471, being the volume-weighted average price of the Common Shares on the TSX Venture Exchange (“TSXV“) for the ten (10) trading days ending December 9, 2019. The Agreement remains subject to approval from the TSXV. All Common Shares issued in connection with the Agreement will be subject to a restricted period of four months and one day. There are no finders’ fees payable by the Company in connection with the Agreement.
SOURCE Valens GroWorks Corp.
Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. Reminds Investors That Class Action Lawsuits Have Been Filed Against Energy Transfer LP, Grubhub, Aurora Cannabis, and The RealReal and Encourages Investors to Contact the Firm
Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., a nationally recognized shareholder law firm, reminds investors that class action lawsuits have been commenced on behalf of stockholders of Energy Transfer LP (NYSE: ET), Grubhub, Inc. (NYSE: GRUB), Aurora Cannabis, Inc. (NYSE: ACB), and The RealReal, Inc. (NASDAQ: REAL). Stockholders have until the deadlines below to petition the court to serve as lead plaintiff. Additional information about each case can be found at the link provided.
Energy Transfer LP (NYSE: ET)
Class Period: February 25, 2017 to November 11, 2019
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: January 20, 2020
On November 12, 2019, the Associated Press reported that Energy Transfer’s Mariner East pipeline project was under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”). Citing interviews with current and former state employees, the Associated Press reported that the FBI’s investigation “involves the permitting of the pipeline, whether [Pennsylvania Governor Tom] Wolf and his administration forced environmental protection staff to approve construction permits and whether Wolf or his administration received anything in return.”
On this news, Energy Transfer’s stock price fell $0.81 per share, or 6.77%, over the following two trading sessions, closing at $11.16 per share on November 13, 2019.
The complaint, filed on November 20, 2019, alleges that throughout the Class Period, defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Energy Transfer’s permits to conduct the Mariner East pipeline project in Pennsylvania were secured via bribery and/or other improper conduct; (ii) the foregoing misconduct increased the risk that the Company and/or certain of its employees would be subject to government and/or regulatory action; and (iii) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
SOURCE Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C.
iX Biopharma secures Australian cannabis manufacture licence
Specialty pharmaceutical company iX Biopharma Ltd (SGX:42C) (“iX Biopharma” or, together with its subsidiaries, “the Group”) is pleased to announce today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, iX Syrinx (“Syrinx”), has been awarded a cannabis manufacture license from the Australian Office of Drug Control under the Narcotics Drugs Act 1967. Under the said licence, the Group is permitted to manufacture and supply extracts and tinctures of cannabis and cannabis resins.
This marks a significant milestone for the Group. Syrinx operates a TGA cGMP certified facility and holds import and export licences for cannabis and State poisons licences; together with the newly granted cannabis manufacture licence, the Group is now able to fully participate in the global medicinal cannabis business.
Importantly, the Group will be able to manufacture and distribute its newly formulated Xativa™ sublingual cannabis wafers in Australia through the Australian Special Access Scheme and in overseas markets. Xativa™ leverages on iX Biopharma’s novel and patented WaferiX™ technology to improve the speed and level of absorption and predictability of effect of medicinal cannabis. Xativa™ provides patients with a more elegant and discreet way to consume medicinal cannabis compared to existing dosage forms for cannabis such as joints, vapes and tinctures, and hence offers a superior user experience. The Group has received feedback from physicians in Australia that the advantages of Xativa™ and its differentiation from the rest of the market offerings are clear and highly desired.
Produced via iX Biopharma’s proprietary freeze-drying technique, the porous and amorphous WaferiX™ matrix holding the active CBD molecules is designed to collapse quickly within the sublingual space. The actives are then transported rapidly across the sublingual membrane into the blood vessels for a rapid onset of action.
“Globally, the use of cannabis for the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions has been growing at an exponential pace. The grant of the cannabis manufacturing licence has come at a most opportune time, allowing us to manufacture, distribute and promote Xativa™ as the gold standard in medicinal cannabis delivery, thereby charting a new growth trajectory for the Group,” said Ms Eva Tan, Director of Corporate and Commercial Strategy of iX Biopharma.
SOURCE iX Biopharma Ltd
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