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Walmart opens training academy in Lawton

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)-It was graduation day for a group of more than 50 local Walmart employees. The workers are all part of the store's first training academy, just one of 200 chosen from Walmart stores across the country to have one.

The training is a two week course for all levels of Walmart store operations.The sessions are housed in the back of the Lawton Walmart that includes computer labs, new I-pads as well as TV's in all of the rooms and plenty of space to do hands on activities. This is the third training facility in the state that will be used to educate it's employees improving customer service, leadership and merchandising.

Patricia Adams, is one of over 50 Walmart employees that walked across the stage today as the first graduating class of the Lawton training academy. She's spent 22 years in the military, part of that time at Fort Sill before finding a job at Walmart.

"This was the bigger and better thing I was looking for in my future."

Even with 18 years of experience at Walmart, Adams attended the academy to turn what started out as her "stepping stone" job into a career. From doing hands on activities, learning new technology, to making customer service better... She says she's lucky to have the training facility right here at home.

"The instructors are really friendly. They strive to help you learn.It's not, you have to do this, you have to do this...they made it a real friendly environment.

Rodney Walker, the Regional General Manager of Walmart says it was the experience of the employees at the store on Sheridan road that separated the facility from the rest across the state. He says these employees are the best of the best and will train others to be leaders as well.

Walker is confident the academy will bring a lot to the Lawton community.

"Hopefully at the end of the day, it's a better experience. It will bring in and out of this store, 15 hundred to 2 thousand people as far as training from different locations around Oklahoma and around Texas. Ultimately for us, it's the passion for advancement. How do we get the next CEO out of Lawton, Oklahoma for this company."

Adams says she's excited to get back to work, put her leadership skills, and everything she learned into action.

"I'm just excited I got the opportunity. I hope I can continue to help our customers on the front end which is where I work and give them all a wonderful Walmart experience."

The Lawton training academy will continue to hold training sessions throughout the year. Walmart says they will end up training more than 140 thousand associates a year all across the country.

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