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CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Walmart employees are getting a little something extra in their paychecks this week, and that was reason enough for one local store to throw a party.

Walmart associates at the Cranberry supercenter store were understandably happy on Thursday.

Store Manager Shawn Kane threw a party for 400-plus employees to celebrate Walmart’s decision to hand out bonuses — bonuses that Walmart’s management says comes from the recent tax cuts.

“I think it’s a big win. Anytime we can reinvest in our associates, who are out there taking care of our customers on the front line, it’s a big victory,” said Kane.

So how big are these bonuses? Well, across the country, Walmart is handing out more than $560 million in bonuses.

Here in Pennsylvania, it’s close to $20 million.

What does that mean? Well, more than 50,000 Walmart employees right here in Pennsylvania are getting a much higher pay check today.

Sharon Kingston, of Ellwood City, has worked for Walmart for more than 20 years. She’s getting $1,000 plus more for her store’s performance in the last quarter.

“I’m going to get like $1,400,” she said. “It feels really good because it’s not money you always have in your pocket, and it’s what we worked to get that money.”

Sandy Schwarz, of Economy Borough, got $1,000.

“I’m going to spend some of it on my grandchildren, and I am going on vacation. We’re going to Myrtle Beach,” Schwarz said.

Relatively new to Walmart, Justin Sass wasn’t expecting much.

“I’ve been with the company a little over two years now, so I’ll be getting $250,” said Sass, of Cranberry Township.

Sass knows that most American employers have not yet shared any tax cuts with their employees.

“It’s actually a really special thing that they do for us,” he says.

Walmart is doing something else — raising its starting wage to one of the highest locally for retail stores.

Lori McIntosh, a Walmart personnel manager, does the hiring.

“Eleven dollars an hour is our starting wage. Overnights come in at $11.50. So, I’m getting a lot of [applications] coming in that I’ll be working on tomorrow. So if anyone needs a new place, it’s a great place to start and build a career,” said McIntosh.

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