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Amazon’s Career Choice Program Helps 7,000 Employees Pursue New Careers in High-Demand Fields

Amazon pre-pays 95 percent of tuition for courses in high-demand fields, regardless of relevancy to Amazon

Employees take classes on-site at eight Amazon fulfillment centers with plans for an additional 25 classrooms

Career Choice is now open source – Amazon is sharing best practices and lessons learned to help other companies implement similar programs

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul. 21, 2016-- Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced milestones for its innovative Career Choice Program. The key features of the company’s peculiar Career Choice Program are that it pre-pays 95 percent of the cost of tuition to remove the financial barrier associated with returning to school, makes it easier for employees to participate by offering dedicated Career Choice classrooms on-site, and exclusively supports coursework related to in-demand fields according to sources like the Bureau of Labor Statistics – even if those skills are not related to jobs at Amazon. Since its inception four years ago, more than 7,000 Amazon employees in 10 countries have participated in Career Choice.

“We’re energized by the interest and enthusiasm in Career Choice that we’ve seen from our employees,” said Dave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide operations for Amazon. “Through Career Choice our employees are becoming nurses, pharmacy technicians, accountants, and commercial drivers – all high-demand fields and many that provide a great service to the community. We’re very proud of our employees who are taking advantage of the opportunity and look forward to seeing many more step forward in the years to come.”

Since the launch of Career Choice, Amazon has made several enhancements and incremental investments in the program since it first launched in July of 2012:

  • Increased the amount of tuition pre-paid for courses to $12,000 over four years.
  • Decreased the amount of time associates must be with the company to become eligible to just one year of employment.
  • Reduced associate commuting times by bringing college and vocational courses onsite.
  • Created purpose-built classrooms at eight of its U.S. fulfillment centers and announced plans earlier this year to create an additional 25 dedicated on-site Career Choice classrooms. (Associate participation rates at fulfillment centers with dedicated on-site classrooms rose by 107 percent over prior years).
  • Beginning this year, most new fulfillment centers will be built with on-site classrooms as part of their standard blueprint. Amazon will also invest in building dedicated on-site classrooms at a dozen additional existing fulfillment centers across the U.S.

Highlights of employee participation:

  • More than 7,000 hourly employees in 10 countries have participated in the program.
  • More than 1,300 associates have taken a college-level course or vocational program onsite at an Amazon fulfillment center. That’s the equivalent enrollment of a small college.
  • Amazon associates have taken classes at nearly 1,500 different educational institutions since the program’s inception. That’s more than the number of public community colleges in the U.S.
  • Since the program’s launch, employees are pursuing degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming, and radiology, to name a few. Top chosen fields of study for Amazon employees are commercial driver license, computer and information technology, health and sciences, and accounting.
  • The most popular course taken by Amazon employees is Commercial Driver Training. Amazon employees have collectively driven semi-trailer trucks more than 15 million miles as part of their training and in the first months of their new careers. That’s the equivalent of traveling around the world 600 times.

Amazon is now open-sourcing the Career Choice Program and sharing its best practices and lessons learned to help other companies implement similar programs. To learn more about Career Choice and how it can be applied at other businesses, contact Juan Garcia at CareerChoice@amazon.com.

In addition to the Career Choice Program, full-time hourly Amazon employees receive competitive wages and a comprehensive benefits package, including healthcare, 401(k) and company stock awards starting on day one, as well as generous maternity and parental leave benefits. Interested candidates can learn more or apply online at www.amazondelivers.jobs.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about.

Source: Amazon.com

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