Amazon just launched a cushy new education initiative for its employees.
Called the Amazon Career Choice Program, the initiative is “designed to expand the choices available to its employees in their future careers, whether at Amazon or in another industry.”
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos (pictured at right) had this to say about the program:
[F]or people who’ve been with us as little as three years, we’re offering to pre-pay 95% of the cost of courses such as aircraft mechanics, computer-aided design, machine tool technologies, medical lab technologies, nursing, and many other fields.”
The Amazon press release about the project explains that the program is unusual because unlike most tuition reimbursement programs, Amazon will exclusively fund education only in areas that are well-paying and in high demand (according to sources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), and the company will fund those areas regardless of whether those skills are relevant to a career at Amazon.
Why is Amazon doing this? To attract and keep new employees. Amazon warehouse jobs have gotten a bad rap in the past. And since Amazon employee sign-on bonuses usually expire after two years and this new education initiative doesn’t kick in until the employee has been there for three years, it’s a way to keep the talent they spent resources on acquiring.