CNN

Amazon offers to pay college tuition for most US workers

Sep 9, 2021, 10:45 AM
Boxes move along a conveyor belt at an Amazon fulfillment center on Prime Day in Raleigh, North Car...
Boxes move along a conveyor belt at an Amazon fulfillment center on Prime Day in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S., on Monday, June 21, 2021. Amazon.com Inc.'s annual Prime Day sale, which begins Monday, arrives as the world grapples with the lingering effects of the pandemic. Photographer: Rachel Jessen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    (CNN) — Amazon is offering to cover four-year college tuition for most of its approximately 750,000 hourly workers in the United States, the latest major employer to offer the perk to attract and retain hourly employees in a tight job market.

Starting in January, Amazon for the first time will pay for tuition, fees and books for warehouse, transportation and other hourly employees who want to pursue bachelor’s degrees. It will also begin covering high school diploma programs, GED’s and English as a Second Language (ESL) certifications for employees.

Amazon has not finalized a list of colleges workers will be eligible to attend using the benefit.

Amazon employees who have been with the company for at least 90 days are able to use the benefit, and employees must continue working part-time or full-time at Amazon while taking classes. Workers at Whole Foods, which Amazon owns, are not eligible.

Amazon has not offered to cover bachelor’s degree programs for its workers in the past, but has an existing benefit for employees that covers tuition costs for two-year associate degrees and certifications at partner schools such as the University of Maryland’s online program and Miami Dade College.

Its move to add four-year degrees to its package comes as rival employers such as Walmart and Target beef up their college benefit programs for workers.

Walmart said in July that it was dropping a previous $1 a day tuition fee paid by its workers who want to earn a degree at 10 academic partners and also begin covering the costs of their books. Walmart has around 1.5 million workers.

Target in August said it will pay full tuition and books for its more than 340,000 workers at around 40 partner schools. Target also said it will pay up to $10,000 a year for master’s programs within its network of partners.

Amazon’s move also comes as retailers and warehouses around the country face challenges hiring employees to staff stores and warehouses. In July, there were 879,000 unfilled jobs in the retail industry and 222,000 in the transportation and warehouse industry, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Amazon said in May that it was hiring 75,000 workers across its logistics network and bumping starting pay from its $15 minimum rate to an average of $17 an hour. The company is also offering sign-on bonuses of up to $1,000 to attract workers.

“We’re spending a lot of money on signing and incentives,” said Brian Olsavsky, Amazon’s chief financial officer, in July. “It’s a very competitive labor market out there. And certainly, the biggest contributor to inflationary pressures that we’re seeing in the business.”

Amazon also announced Thursday that it plans to retrain 300,000 employees for higher-skilled, fast-growing jobs within the company over the next four years, upping a prior pledge it made in 2019 to train 100,000 workers for new positions.

Amazon offers internal retraining programs for roles such as software and IT engineers, data center technicians, and researchers and designers.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

CNN

Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., departs after attending a House GOP conference meeting on Capitol Hill ...
Manu Raju and Melanie Zanona, CNN

George Santos tells House Republicans he wants off of his committees until issues are resolved

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia told CNN that it was Santos' decision that he made on his own to "abstain" from the committees.
1 day ago
FILE - This Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, file photo shows application icons from left, Facebook, Facebook...
CNN

Surgeon General says 13 is ‘too early’ to join social media

(CNN) — U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says he believes 13 is too young for children to be on social media platforms because although sites allow children of that age to join, kids are still “developing their identity.” Meta, Twitter, and a host of other social media giants currently allow 13-year-olds to join their platforms. […]
2 days ago
FILE - Motown's Barrett Strong arrives at the induction ceremony for 35th annual National Academy o...
CNN

Barrett Strong, Motown singer and songwriter, dead at 81

   (CNN) — Barrett Strong, the voice and songwriter behind Motown Records’ first hit, has died, according to a post from The Motown Museum. He was 81. “It is with great sadness that we share the passing of legendary @classicmotown singer and songwriter Barrett Strong. The voice behind @motownrecords’ first hit, the iconic “Money (That’s What […]
2 days ago
NEWPORT NEWS, VA - JANUARY 07: Tall pine trees outside Richneck Elementary School on January 7, 202...
Brian Todd, Hannah Sarisohn, Nicole Grether and Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN

District reassigns principal of Virginia school where boy, 6, allegedly shot teacher, spokesperson says

The principal of Richneck Elementary School in Virginia has been reassigned within Newport News Public Schools.
2 days ago
Authorities in Grants Pass, Oregon are advising women to be on the lookout for a fugitive accused o...
Andy Rose and Nouran Salahieh, CNN

Man suspected of kidnapping and beating a woman in Oregon may be using dating apps to evade police

Originally Published: 29 JAN 23 12:31 ET Updated: 29 JAN 23 21:20 ET     (CNN) — Authorities in southwestern Oregon are warning that a man suspected of kidnapping a woman and beating her unconscious may now be using dating apps to evade capture or find potential new victims, according to police. The suspect, 36-year-old Benjamin Obadiah […]
2 days ago
Suspected arsonist appears on surveillance footage lighting Molotov cocktail in front of Temple Ner...
Celina Tebor, Isa Kaufman-Geballe and Zoe Sottile, CNN

Man throws Molotov cocktail at New Jersey synagogue in arson attempt, police say

A man threw a Molotov cocktail at a New Jersey synagogue in an arson attempt on Sunday morning, police and the synagogue said.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Amazon offers to pay college tuition for most US workers