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May 7, 2014

May 7, 2014

For more information, contact:
Ola Blackmon-McBride
(865) 524-5511


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (May 7, 2014) – Knoxville Area Urban League today received a $25,000 contribution to assist with its workforce development and employment assistance program. The grant – which was given to the non-profit organization through the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program – will work to provide job skill assessments and training to prepare Knoxville-area residents for customer service and retail jobs in their areas of interest.

“People often come to us ready to jump into any job available because they need employment,” said Phyllis Y. Nichols, President and CEO of the Knoxville Area Urban League. “They need long term stability, and we are working to match and train them for jobs they are suited for and interested in. Walmart has given us the opportunity to help these people grow.”

The grant was presented to Knoxville Area Urban League during a check presentation ceremony held today in the Urban League’s computer lab. During the ceremony, Walmart Market Manager Gail Hardy presented a check for $25,000 to Nichols. Knoxville Area Urban League board members, students and clients joined in the celebration.

The Knoxville Area Urban League is a civil rights, economic development and social service organization. It was founded in 1968 at the height of the Civil Rights movement to promote equal employment opportunities for African-Americans in Knoxville, Tennessee. Today, the Urban League is a non-profit, non-partisan, interracial community-based organization, serving a diverse client base in Knox, Blount and Anderson counties.

“Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are very pleased to be supporting the workforce development and employment assistance program in Knoxville. We are committed to helping those in need in the communities where we serve and this program will help retailers, like Walmart, gain trained and skilled workers” Hardy said. “Through this grant, we are hopeful that residents in the Knoxville area will gain the skills they need to advance their careers and their lives.”

The contribution to Knoxville Area Urban League was made possible through the Walmart Foundation’s Tennessee State Giving Program (SGP). Through this program, the Walmart Foundation supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better. The Walmart Foundation State Giving Program strives to award grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S.

In 2013, the Tennessee State Giving Program awarded more than $1 million to local organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs, Feed America First of Tennessee, and the YMCA of Middle Tennessee. In Tennessee, a team of local associates determine needs within each state, review eligible grant applications and make funding recommendations to the Walmart Foundation.

To be considered for support, prospective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application. Eligible applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum funding criteria. Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online at

In 2012, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $1 billion in cash and in-kind contributions around the world. This includes more than $30 million given locally in Tennessee. In addition, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Logistics associates volunteered more than 2.2 million hours, generating $18 million to U.S. nonprofits.

About Philanthropy at Walmart

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Walmart has donated more than 1 billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit