Many people know Walmart as the largest corporate retailer in the world, but did you also realize it is a leading innovator and employer in STEM? At Festival Expo 2014, you'll discover in unforgettable ways this other side of Walmart, which this year is serving as an Americum-level Sponsor of the Festival!
Walmart's imprint on STEM is significant worldwide, and is especially noted for: developing ways to make its foods more healthful by reducing sodium, sugar and fat; designing high-tech fleet trucks; working with farmers to produce better crop yields; creating energy-efficient retail stores, and hiring such STEM-trained employees as pilots, construction engineers, sales associates and skilled trade workers.
And at Festival, Walmart professionals look forward to inspiring visitors in the corporation's growth-potential fields and other STEM endeavors. Says Wanda Young, Vice President of Marketing for Walmart: "Walmart is excited to participate in the Festival this year for several reasons. First, Walmart has committed to buy an additional $250 billion in American-made products by 2023. The Boston Consulting group predicts that this investment will create 1 million jobs, many of which will be in STEM fields."
Wanda adds: "We also know there is a shortage of skilled trade workers, which makes this Festival, and STEM education, so important. And while many people might not think about this, Walmart also needs associates with strong STEM backgrounds. We have almost every job there is – from pilot, to construction engineer, to mathematician. These are all fields that we recruit for at Walmart."
At its exhibit presentations at the Expo, you can expect to experience and participate in hands-on Walmart activities that reflect this spirit, including through such displays as:
--The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience. This is a prototype truck that marks a series of "firsts" in fleet technology -- including advanced aerodynamics, a micro-turbine hybrid powertrain, a customizable electronic dashboard and a lightweight trailer made almost exclusively of carbon fiber, according to Wanda who says that Walmart has one of the largest private truck fleets in the world. "Like the concept cars at auto shows," she adds, "you won't see this prototype on the road any time soon, but the advances in technology and the lessons we learn from this project will help us improve our fleet efficiency."
--Trade Skills Demonstrations. Walmart will also highlight several students it is sponsoring through SkillsUSA chapters in Washington, D.C. and other communities who will conduct on-site demonstrations in such trade skills as welding, culinary arts and 3D printing. The students' attendance at the Expo is being made possible through support from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation.
"Walmart is also constantly testing and scaling new solutions to improve its environmental footprint and to make our retail sector more sustainable for people and the planet," says Wanda. "This includes not only in logistics and operations, but also in product and packaging design, and all along our supply chains in food, apparel, and general merchandise."
Headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, Walmart operates more than 11,000 retail units under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. It employs 2.2 million associates around the world — 1.3 million in the U.S. alone.
The Festival sincerely thanks Walmart and our other Sponsors and Partners for helping to inspire the next generation of STEM professionals and innovators!