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While Walmart is still pondering a wage hike for its employees, it has announced a program that will surely help many young African Americans. The Walmart Foundation will give $1.75 million in grants to help African Americans attend college, get job training and placement, reports EPR Retail News.

The grants will be distributed to three nonprofit organizations: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Urban League (NUL) and United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

The $500,000 grant to UNCF will fund a program to aid 16 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the grants to NUL ($1 million) and the NAACP ($250,000) will fund programs to help individuals get support through training and placement assistance as well as help businesses create more job opportunities.

“With today’s economic climate there is a growing need to empower individuals in communities nationwide with access to opportunities that will help them live better. Part of this work will come from helping businesses understand and unlock the powerful results that a more diverse workforce has to offer,” said Tony Waller, senior director, corporate affairs, Walmart in a press statement. “By helping one individual at a time build a successful career, we are growing a more competitive work environment. A competitive environment ignites innovation, which helps build stronger communities and, ultimately, a stronger America.”

Walmart has had a long-standing relationship with these organizations. Marc H. Morial, president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League, notes that their jobs training program has benefited from Walmart’s support since 2006. “This new grant will help us further strengthen our workforce development programs, and continue helping African Americans and other communities of color across the United States secure economic independence and empowerment,” he said.

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