Associate Opportunity Hits “The Today Show”

Career Path

Jackie and Chance talk about everything from automation to the elite drivers of the Walmart Private Fleet.

photo collage of two Walmart associates

Lights, camera, action! Not words you might be accustomed to in or around a Walmart Distribution Center. And yet, that very scene unfolded recently at RDC 6036 in Palestine, Texas, where two new Walmart celebrities found fame.

Jackie Burton and Chance Bayless were interviewed by “The Today Show,” where they talked about new opportunities and jobs of the future — all happening right now — at Walmart.

Jackie’s story isn’t a foreign one for Walmart associates. She started her career as an order-filler, and through her own desire to grow, was able to transition to something entirely different: the Walmart Private Fleet.

Coming from a legacy of drivers, Jackie said watching her grandfather inspired her to step into Walmart’s Associate-to-Driver program, which funds and trains transportation associates on their way to becoming Walmart Private Fleet drivers.

Jackie with her hands on the steering wheel of a truck

“So just seeing him and his lifestyle, that really inspired me. I knew that was something I was interested in but I never knew how I would be able to achieve that,” Jackie says. “So when Walmart created the Associate-to-Driver program, they opened a door for me to able to step into that role and take on a desire I’ve always had. They pay for the program. They pay you while you’re going through the program, so there isn’t that financial strain I thought I would have taking a different route.”

Jackie was excited to be able to tout Walmart’s culture on air.

“I have a lot of friends and family who work for Walmart, and one thing that I can say is the culture that we have here at Walmart, the associates carry that even when we aren’t at our job — it’s a way of life,” Jackie explains. “There’s no limitations. Whatever you wanna do, you can do that. A pharmacy tech? You can do that. If you want to become a Private Fleet driver, you can do that too.”

Chance, an Automation Equipment Operator at RDC6036, was interviewed to talk more about how Walmart uses automation to drive progress — something he’s learned plenty about in his nine years at Walmart.

Chance on the floor of an RDC touching an automation screen

He was excited to share more about Walmart’s investment in the growth of its associates with “The Today Show.” His opinion? Walmart associates are working in the jobs of the future — right now.

“The best part about working [in automation] is the career growth and career opportunity you have within the company,” Chance says. “Automation allows us to have new, upcoming job roles we just didn’t have 10 years ago, 20 years ago.”

Chance sees the changing nature of work under automation as one big opportunity.

“Not many companies offer the opportunity to be in automation, and that’s job experience that you’re not gonna get pretty much anywhere except for specific industries,” Chance says. “So having the ability to do a job that isn’t readily available and get experience and Walmart is giving you that opportunity — that’s a big deal.”

Chance told “The Today Show” he has big dreams for his future, where he wants to continue growing inside automation, and use what he’s learned to enter the engineering space. We believe in you, Chance!

While we can’t guarantee everyone an opportunity to appear on “The Today Show,” Walmart certainly offers associate opportunity everywhere — starting on the first day of employment.

Or, just take Chance’s word for it: “As long as you’re passionate about what you do, you can always succeed and grow.”

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