E-commerce giant Amazon just announced a new employee benefit: free college tuition for over 750,000 U.S. employees.
It’s no secret that companies are struggling to attract minimum-wage workers atm. Amazon is the latest mega corporation to provide free college in an effort to pull more employees — the company will also pay for books at multiple universities nationwide.
Even if you work just 20 hours a week, you could be eligible for up to 50% college tuition reduction under Amazon’s plan. Clearly, $15/hr is no longer sufficient to build a workforce. Ardine Williams, Amazon’s VP of workforce development, said:
“Career progression is the new minimum wage. Most adult learners don’t have the luxury of quitting their jobs and going to school full-time.”
Chipotle, Starbucks, Walmart, and Target announced similar programs this year. Amazon intends to pay employees’ tuition upfront, with associate degrees, high-school completion programs, and English-second-language certifications also included in the plan.
To pull this off, Amazon will probably have to fork out a whopping $1.2 billion over the next 4 years. These are huge line-items, but ultimately necessary selling points for attracting new talent. Here’s the WSJ with more info.