Target, Walmart pays college for employees


Target will offer its 340,000 part-time and full-time employees based in the United States a new advantage: free university education.

The retailer said on Wednesday it would offer its employees “the most comprehensive debt-free education assistance program available in the retail industry.”

The program begins this fall and provides “debt-free undergraduate degrees, certificates, certifications, free textbooks and more at no additional cost” in 250 business-aligned programs at more than 40 schools, colleges and universities. Target says it will invest $ 200 million over the next four years in the program.

The announcement comes a week after Walmart, the country’s largest private employer, said it would pay for the tuition and books of its part-time and full-time associates.

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“Target employs team members at every stage of life and helps our team learn, develop and develop their skills, whether they are with us for a year or a career,” said Melissa Kremer, Director Human Resources Department at Target, in a press release. “We don’t want cost to be a barrier for anyone, and this is where Target can step in to make education accessible to everyone. “

The move also comes as many companies say they are struggling to find and keep workers. Experts say some workers have not returned to work amid the coronavirus pandemic for multiple reasons, including concerns about COVID-19, child care and more.

Target says it will support workers taking courses for high school completion, college preparation, learning English and certain certificates, certifications, boot camps, associate’s degrees and undergraduate.

Academic institutions included in the program are the University of Arizona, Oregon State University, University of Denver, and eCornell, as well as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) including the Morehouse College, Paul Quinn College, etc.

For employees pursuing studies outside of selected business-aligned programs within the Guild’s network of schools, including masters, Target says it will “provide direct payments to their educational institution until to $ 5,250 for non-masters degrees and up to $ 10,000 for masters each year to reduce the burden of upfront and expensive tuition. “

Last week, Target gave its hourly full-time and part-time employees in stores, distribution centers and contact centers a recognition bonus of $ 200.

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Contribution: Marina Pitofsky, USA TODAY

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