Walmart is upping the ante in the truck driver shortage. In a blog post from Fernando Cortes, senior vice president, transportation, and Karisa Sprague, senior vice president, supply chain people, Walmart announced it is increasing its top pay for first-year, long-haul truck drivers to $110,000. It also is introducing a driving academy so workers in other positions can apply to be trained as long-haul drivers.
The driver training has launched as part of the retailer’s Live Better U program, which includes Walmart Academies that cover a range of career training. The Walmart Private Fleet Development Program launched in Dover, DE, and Dallas offering supply chain workers in other jobs 12 weeks of training that helped them earn commercial driver’s licenses. Established truck drivers from Walmart’s fleet conducted the training after receiving specialized instruction themselves.
The fresh investments in pay and training come on the heels of multiple recent driver bonuses and schedule improvements Walmart has initiated, the blog post emphasized, and it added that the retailer plans additional investments. Those will come as Walmart continues to assess and address supply chain issues.
The company also noted that new drivers receive paid time off immediately up to 21 days in the first year, access to a 401K plan, medical and dental insurance, company paid life insurance, and short term disability as well as up to four paid safety days a year.