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Investing in Chicago's Local Communities with Walmart: Case Study

walmart retail associate with mask

The Company

As the largest private employer in the U.S., Walmart is a foundational entry point to learn job skills and a gateway to upward mobility. Walmart has ten Supercenters and four Neighborhood Markets across Chicago and the suburbs. The company recently opened Walmart Health centers at its Chatham and Austin stores, an investment that aligns with Skills’ commitment to South and West Side job seekers.

Walmart prioritizes the well-being of its associates; over the past year, the company announced a series of benefits and new offerings to support the emotional, physical and financial well-being of it’s associates and the communities they call home.


The Collaboration

We have teamed up with Walmart since March 2020, working to help staff their stores and health centers.

After the social unrest in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed $100 million over five years to create a new center to address systemic racism in society head-on and accelerate change.

The Center for Racial Equity’s initiatives will fund research, advocacy, innovation of practices and tools, stakeholder convening and support the work of Black philanthropic leaders and organizations that serve Black and African American communities.

Part of this work includes opening Walmart Health clinics in underserved neighborhoods and collaborating with Skills to help find, prescreen, and match job seekers to open opportunities.

How We Work


Skills began working together with Walmart by prescreening over 100 job seekers and conducting virtual interviews alongside Walmart’s Health & Wellness team at four hiring events.

We also conducted prescreening events to staff stores located in varied neighborhoods and suburbs of Chicago: North Avenue in West Humboldt Park, Forest Park, Chatham, Hermosa, Villa Park, and Skokie. Skills recruits for a variety of retail and stocking roles across all stores.

In 2021, thanks to the hard work and success of our Client Services and Talent Acquisition teams, our collaboration has grown to include a Neighborhood Market in Lakeview and a Sam’s Club location in Calumet City.

Evaluating the Work


Opportunities are ongoing with Walmart. They are changing the game in how they continue to engage their associates and the Chicagoland community.

Walmart announced earlier this year that two-thirds of is U.S. hourly store associates will be in full-time roles by the end of the current fiscal year. They have also instituted set schedules week to week so employees can have more work-life balance.

In August 2021, they announced that Walmart is paying for all college tuition and books through their Live Better U program. Walmart is also planning to open a 15,000-square-foot training academy in the Chatham neighborhood, providing HVAC and Medical Assistant training not just for their employees, but for the entire community.

Because of the investments Walmart is making in their associates, Skills is proud to work alongside them.

Optimizing the Work

Because of the many Walmart locations we recruit for, and the number of “People Leads” we’re in contact with, one of the biggest challenges we face is monitoring the hiring status of our candidates.

The Skills team is in constant contact with Walmart hiring managers to track if a candidate has been interviewed, offered the position, or onboarded. Coordinating this many contacts and touch points is no easy task, but communication is key!

Our Client Services team routinely expresses our desire to create a positive candidate experience. Walmart’s local and regional teams are committed to working with us to achieve this goal and impact lives.



Download the case study here.

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