SEATTLE — Amazon announced it will offer to pay 100% of college tuition for its more than 750,000 hourly employees in the U.S.
In a news release, the e-commerce giant said it will cover the cost of college tuition, fees and textbooks for its hourly employees as part of a $1.2 billion investment by 2025 in the company’s Career Choice program. The program will begin in January 2022, NBC News reported.
The program will be open to hourly employees in Amazon’s operations network after 90 days of employment, the company said in its release. That includes workers in warehouses and distribution centers.
Amazon also said it will cover the cost of high school diploma programs, GEDs and English as a second-language certification for employees.
“Amazon is now the largest job creator in the U.S., and we know that investing in free skills training for our teams can have a huge impact for hundreds of thousands of families across the country,” Dave Clark, CEO of Worldwide Consumer at Amazon, said in a statement. “We launched Career Choice almost 10 years ago to help remove the biggest barriers to continuing education -- time and money -- and we are now expanding it even further to pay full tuition and add several new fields of study.
”This new investment builds on years of experience supporting employees in growing their careers, including some unique initiatives like building more than 110 on-site classrooms for our employees in Amazon fulfillment centers across 37 states. Today, over 50,000 Amazon employees around the world have already participated in Career Choice and we’ve seen first-hand how it can transform their lives.”
Amazon said it will pay the tuition and fees in advance, rather than offering reimbursement after an employee completes a course, the company said. Employees said the employees will have access to annual funds for as long as they remain at Amazon. There is no limit to how many years an employee can benefit.
Amazon’s announcement comes after other major employees, such as Walmart and Target, extended similar offers to their employees, Forbes reported. In July, Walmart announced it will pay 100% of college tuition and book costs for employees of Walmart and Sam’s Club, NBC News reported. The following month, Target unveiled a program that covered the cost of associate and undergraduate degrees at selected schools.
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