Afternoon Coffee: Walmart to Subsidize Education in Supply Chain Management for Workers, U.S. Bans Cotton Imports from Turkmenistan

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Walmart will begin to offer subsidies for its U.S. workers to go to college, the New York Times reports. The retailer said it would pay tuition for its workers to enroll in college courses, online or on campus, to earn degrees in either supply chain management or business. The subsidy will be available to full- and part-time workers and allow them to study at three universities: the University of Florida; Brandman University in Irvine, California; and Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska.

Cotton Ban

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will turn away any shipments of cotton originating from Turkmenistan due to findings of state-enforced slave labor, Reuters reports. Cotton grown in the former Soviet Republic has been documented by the U.S. Department of Labor as a product of slave labor run by Turkmen authorities.

Basware Introduces Smart PDF 

Source-to-pay provider Basware announced Tuesday a new invoice capturing service that can extract data from any machine-readable PDF, according to a press release. Called Smart PDF, the system can handle data extraction, content validation and augmentation process automatically without the need for optical character recognition (OCR). 

To learn more about Basware’s invoice-to-pay capabilities, see how the provider stacked up in its recent head-to-head bout with SAP Ariba. 

GDP Revision 

And finally, an economic update: The Commerce Department downwardly revised its initial GDP reading for the first quarter, MarketWatch reports, to a 2.2% annual pace from 2.3%. Despite stronger business investment during the quarter, weaker inventory growth, which the revised measurement slashed considerably, weighed on the economy.

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