SAN MARCOS – Amazon plans to expand the education and skills training benefits it offers to its employees with a total investment of $1.2 billion by 2025.
There are three Amazon facilities located in San Marcos employing over 5,000 people, making Amazon the regions largest employer.
Through its Career Choice program, Amazon will fund full college tuition, as well as high school diplomas, GEDs, and English as a Second Language (ESL) proficiency certifications for its front-line employees—including those who have been at the company for as little as three months.
Amazon is also adding three new education programs to provide employees with the opportunity to learn skills within data center maintenance and technology, IT, and user experience and research design.
“Amazon is now the largest job creator in the U.S., and we know that investing in free skills training for our teams can have a huge impact for hundreds of thousands of families across the country,” said Dave Clark, CEO of Worldwide Consumer at Amazon. “We launched Career Choice almost 10 years ago to help remove the biggest barriers to continuing education—time and money—and we are now expanding it even further to pay full tuition and add several new fields of study.”
Starting in January, Amazon front-line employees will have access to even more education benefits through Career Choice:
- Funding for college tuition. More than 750,000 operations employees across the U.S. will be eligible to have their full college tuition paid for at hundreds of education partners across the country. In addition to funding associate and bachelor’s degrees, Amazon’s Career Choice will also fund high school completion, GEDs, and ESL proficiency certifications.
- Pre-paid fees. Amazon will pay employees’ tuition and fees in advance rather than offering reimbursement after coursework completion, ensuring employees don’t need existing funds to start accessing the education options they want.
- Limitless learning. Amazon front-line employees will have access to annual funds for education as long as they remain at the company, with no limit to the number of years they can benefit.
- Fast starts. All 750,000 U.S. hourly employees are eligible to participate in Career Choice 90 days after starting at Amazon. This makes all 400,000 employees who joined the company since the start of the pandemic eligible to access Amazon-funded education opportunities.
“I worked in a warehouse setting for years but knew I wanted to help people and had been curious about healthcare. In just nine months, I became a certified clinical medical assistant while working at Amazon in Tracy, California, thanks to Career Choice,” said former Amazon operations employee and Career Choice graduate Patricia Soto. “A career in healthcare would have been difficult to obtain without tuition support from Amazon and an internship opportunity to apply my new skills.”
Additional new skills training programs
In addition to the expanded Career Choice benefits, Amazon is also launching three new upskilling programs—all tuition-free for participants—to provide even more career advancement opportunities for its employees:
AWS Grow Our Own Talent
AWS Grow Our Own Talent offers on-the-job training and job placement opportunities to Amazon employees and entry-level candidates with nontraditional backgrounds. The training will help them pursue roles to innovate within Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers and safely deliver high-quality cloud computing services to customers. Participating employees are hired into roles like data center technicians and operations technicians, and complete in-person, on-the-job training for up to six months.
Surge2IT is designed to help entry-level IT employees across Amazon’s operations network pursue careers in higher-paying technical roles through self-paced learning resources. The course helps employees develop the skills necessary to advance their career in the IT field, such as supporting the Amazon Robotics picking and stowing technology. Participants who complete the course and move up at Amazon can make an additional $10,000 a year.