SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced milestones for its innovative career re-training program, Career Choice, which pre-pays 95 percent of the cost of tuition for employees to pursue courses in in-demand fields, regardless of the relevancy to jobs at Amazon. The company has now helped more than 10,000 employees pursue career re-training through Career Choice, built on-site dedicated Career Choice class rooms at 25 fulfillment centers, and recently expanded the program to include in-demand fields, such as robotics and photovoltaic certifications.
“The Career Choice program is unique in that it helps train employees for high-demand roles that often go unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers, which means employees may actually leave Amazon to go on to be nurses or pharmacy technicians,” said Dave Clark, Amazon Senior Vice President for Worldwide Operations. “We help remove the barriers for employees by doing the homework for them to find the high-demand careers in their area. We exclusively fund those areas of study and work with local colleges to offer courses onsite at fulfillment centers in our dedicated classrooms. More than 10,000 associates have taken advantage of this innovative benefit so far and we expect participation to double by 2020, with more than 20,000 employees pursuing new careers through the program.”
Amazon has also expanded eligible coursework through the Career Choice program to help address national skill gaps. New areas of study include robotics, engineering and technology, computer science, photovoltaic (PV) design principles and practices learning, as well as hands-on installations to become a certified PV installer by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). More than 500 employees are currently enrolled in robotics related courses in the U.S.
“The Career Choice program has made it possible for me to go to school for my nursing certification at the local community college and I’m so excited. Amazon is helping me reach my goals and the Career Choice program will change my life. One day soon, I’ll be caring for patients in my community in the job I’ve always wanted,” said Ericka Gooch, a fulfillment associate at Amazon’s Baltimore fulfillment center and the 10,000th Career Choice participant.
Last year, Amazon began open-sourcing the Career Choice program and sharing its best practices and lessons learned to help other companies implement similar programs. To date, hundreds of businesses have sought information on the program for their own employees. To learn more about Career Choice and how it can be applied at other businesses, contact CareerChoice@amazon.com.
In addition to the Career Choice program, Amazon provides employees with highly-competitive pay, health insurance, disability insurance, retirement savings plans and company stock. The company also offers up to 20 weeks of paid leave and innovative benefits such as Leave Share and Ramp Back, which give new parents flexibility with their growing families. Leave Share lets employees share their Amazon paid leave with their spouse or domestic partner if their spouse’s employer doesn’t offer paid leave. Ramp Back gives new moms additional control over the pace at which they return to work. Just as with Amazon’s health care plan, these benefits are egalitarian – they’re the same for fulfillment center and customer service employees as they are for Amazon’s most senior executives.
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 and follow @AmazonNews.