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Walgreen Opens Employee Training University

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Drugstore chain Walgreen (NASDAQ: WBA  ) unveiled its new employee training campus on Friday, dubbed Walgreens University, featuring technology-enhanced classrooms, a mock-drugstore, and video-conferencing capabilities.

The company is doubling its annual investment in employee education and development through the university and plans to double the number of learning opportunities for its employees through expanded online classes, regional training sessions, and in the classroom itself in Deerfield, Ill. More than 100 courses will be available and will include some that offer college credit, such as pharmacy technician training and management and retail fundamentals.

Walgreen President and CEO Kathleen Wilson-Thompson said: "To meet our company goals, we need a workforce that learns and grows every day through opportunities available when, where and how each individual needs it. We aim to be the best in our industry for employee education and training, and among the best of all major American corporations."

Partners in the educational effort include Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, which is offering a customized MBA program; University of Maryland University College; Webster University; Apollo Group's University of Phoenix; and DeVry

Many employees will be offered tuition discounts of between 10% and 25%, while UMUC's 25% discount will also be available to employee spouses and dependents. Employees will also have access to non-credit management courses offered online from Harvard Business Publishing.

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