By Deba Uwadiae
Amazon has announced that its more than 750,000 operations employees in the U.S. are eligible for fully funded college tuition, including cost of classes, books, and fees in a plan to expand the education and skills training benefits it offers to its U.S. employees with a total investment of $1.2 billion by 2025.
Through its popular Career Choice program, the company will fund full college tuition, as well as high school diplomas, GEDs, and English as a Second Language (ESL) proficiency certifications for its front-line employees—including those who have been at the company for as little as three months.
Amazon is also adding three new education programs to provide employees with the opportunity to learn skills within data center maintenance and technology, IT, and user experience and research design.
“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,” said Dave Clark, CEO of Worldwide Consumer at Amazon.
“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.”
Starting in January, Amazon front-line employees will have access to even more education benefits through Career Choice:
Funding for college tuition. More than 750,000 operations employees across the U.S. will be eligible to have their full college tuition paid for at hundreds of education partners across the country. In addition to funding associate and bachelor’s degrees, Amazon’s Career Choice will also fund high school completion, GEDs, and ESL proficiency certifications.
Pre-paid fees. Amazon will pay employees’ tuition and fees in advance rather than offering reimbursement after coursework completion, ensuring employees don’t need existing funds to start accessing the education options they want.
Limitless learning. Amazon front-line employees will have access to annual funds for education as long as they remain at the company, with no limit to the number of years they can benefit.
Fast starts. All 750,000 U.S. hourly employees are eligible to participate in Career Choice 90 days after starting at Amazon. This makes all 400,000 employees who joined the company since the start of the pandemic eligible to access Amazon-funded education opportunities.