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First York Wal-Mart Academy class graduates

John A Pavoncello
York Dispatch

It was graduation day at the East York Wal-Mart Supercenter on Thursday.

One of the first graduates from the first Wal-Mart Academy in Pennsylvania, Victoria Amandola, claims supervisor, gets a high-five as  she and her classmates head to commencement, Thursday, March 2, 2017.  John A. Pavoncello photo

More than 60 supervisors and associates graduated in the first class of the Wal-Mart Academy, the retailer's new employee training academy. Graduates were greeted by fellow employees, family and cheerleaders from Central York High School.

Sporting goods manager Scott Luckenbaugh shakes East York Wal-Mart Store Manager Steven Myers' hand as he graduates from the first Wal-Mart Academy at Store #1529 in Springettsbury Township, Thursday, March 2, 2017.  John A. Pavoncello photo

One of 200 training academies scheduled to open across the country by the end of the year, the academy will train as many as 4,500 associates from 21 Wal-Mart Supercenters in York, Dauphin, Cumberland, Lancaster, Lebanon, Franklin, Chester, Adams and Bedford counties.

The training academies are dedicated facilities where the company’s front-line supervisors will receive hands-on training that combines the classroom and the sales floor. The training will help department managers and hourly supervisors gain core retail skills and the skills and knowledge to run their specific department, according to the company. The academies are part of Wal-Mart’s $2.7 billion associate training program.

"At Wal-Mart, we know our No. 1 asset is our people," Market Manager Bobby Orr said during the graduation ceremony. The new academy will train 90 associates per week.