AUSTIN (KXAN) — Amazon has added nine Texas colleges and universities to its program that provides fully-funded tuition for hourly employees.
Among its new partners in the Career Choice program, Austin Community College, Texas State University and the University of Texas at Dallas.
Amazon employees are eligible for the program after 90 days of employment.
Employees will also be able to enroll in online education providers, such as Southern New Hampshire University, Colorado State University, Western Governors University – Texas and more.
“As Texans and Americans continue to recover from the pandemic, the demands are clear – employers increasingly rely on highly skilled workers and employees increasingly need credentials of value to compete in a globally competitive workforce,” said Texas Commissioner of Higher Education Harrison Keller. “By making this commitment to its employees through higher education, Amazon is demonstrating how partnerships among employers and institutions can empower students to contribute to, participate in, and benefit from our world class economy.”
Employees can pursue a Bachelor’s degree and earn industry certifications leading to in-demand jobs.
Amazon and Austin Community College’s partnership started in 2019 and “provided pathways for Amazon’s hourly employees to pursue higher education with financial support,” a college spokesperson said.
The program grew in 2021 to include opportunities for students pursuing English language proficiency courses, high school equivalency/GED or a bachelor’s degree at ACC.
“I’m so proud of Amazon’s commitment to invest in the future of our employees by providing easier access to higher education,” said Evan Luscher, director of operations at Amazon in Houston. “Amazon’s dedication to upskill our employees and empower their future regardless of whether or not it benefits the company is truly remarkable. Initiatives like Career Choice can be lifechanging for some people, and I look forward to seeing how the program evolves.”
There are currently 23 students enrolled in the partnership with Amazon, ACC said. A total of 56 students/Amazon employees have participated since the start of the partnership.
Other Texas schools involved in the program include:
- Alamo College
- Dallas College
- Houston Community College
- Lonestar College
- Tarrant County Community College
- University of North Texas