Walmart Foundation Awards League for Innovation Walmart Brighter Futures 3.0 Grant


The League for Innovation in the Community College announces a $2.9 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to develop a three-part credentialing program for retail workers. Twelve community colleges across the country will participate in the program—Walmart Brighter Futures 3.0—which will build on the success of the Western Association of Food Chains’ (WAFC) Retail Management Certificate (RMC). 

Over the 2.5 year period of the grant, the selected colleges, based in urban, suburban, and rural areas, will work with retail employers who are committed to the RMC as the credential for the advancement of their existing workforce. It is anticipated that more than 1,200 incumbent retail workers will be enrolled in the program, which seeks to break the RMC into three portable and stackable certificate programs, allowing workers a more flexible and manageable way to ultimately earn the full certificate.  The League for Innovation and the WAFC will disseminate best practices from the project to other community colleges throughout the country.

The Walmart Brighter Futures 3.0 Project aims to scale the retail management certificate that is currently offered at over 150 community colleges in 13 western states and one state in the Midwest in cooperation with WAFC.  Participating colleges will offer the credit certificate to incumbent workers at local and regional retail employers. 

Participating colleges include:

  • Alexandria Technical and Community College (MN)
  • Anne Arundel Community College (MD)
  • Austin Community College (TX)
  • Central New Mexico Community College (NM)
  • College of Lake County (IL)
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College (WI)
  • Moraine Valley Community College (IL)
  • Nashville State Community College (TN)
  • San Jacinto Community College District (TX)
  • Sinclair Community College (OH)
  • Umpqua Community College (OR)
  • Wayne County Community College District (MI)

In announcing the grants, League President and CEO, Dr. Rufus Glasper, expressed confidence that the Walmart Brighter Futures project will have a positive impact beyond the selected colleges. “The Walmart Brighter Futures 3.0 project will lead to best practices that will expand the capacity of community colleges to enhance job training opportunities for incumbent workers. The League will be delighted to share the work of the participating colleges with colleges around the country,” said Glasper. 

The selected community colleges will receive up to $100,000 over the duration of the grant to support the colleges’ plans to provide services for retail employees.  Additionally, the colleges will leverage instructional stipends to support participant enrollment in courses leading to the retail management certificate.