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Amazon Says 30,000 Employees Have Used 'Upskilling' Program

October 28, 2020

Amazon on Tuesday said 30,000 of its employees have participated in the company's Career Choice program, which pays 95 percent of the tuition and fees for skills training for a credential in high-demand fields. The company said it has spent $60 million on the "upskilling" program, which allows its front-line employees to find jobs elsewhere.

“Career Choice is one way we help people think big about their careers, and we offer training across a wide variety of skills needed for high-demand fields,” Darcie Henry, vice president of global HR for Amazon Operations, said in a written statement.

The retail giant has partnered with 85 education partners -- including community colleges -- to offer credit pathways for some of its tuition benefit and other skills training programs.

Amazon said more than half of the employees who participated in Career Choice were from underrepresented minority groups. The program offers courses across 20 career paths, including computer support specialist, web developer, nurse, aircraft mechanic, commercial trucker, paralegal/legal assistant, IT security assistant and network technician.

The company in July 2019 said it would spend $700 million over six years to retrain 100,000 of its workers for jobs within the company and beyond.

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Paul Fain

Paul Fain, Contributing Editor, came to Inside Higher Ed in September 2011, after a six-year stint covering leadership and finance for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Paul has also worked in higher ed P.R., with Widmeyer Communications, but couldn't stay away from reporting. A former staff writer for C-VILLE Weekly, a newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., Paul has written for The New York Times, Washington City Paper and Mother Jones. He's won a few journalism awards, including one for beat reporting from the Education Writers Association and the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award. Paul got hooked on journalism while working too many hours at The Review, the student newspaper at the University of Delaware, where he earned a degree in political science in 1996. A native of Dayton, Ohio, and a long-suffering fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, Fain plays guitar in a band with more possible names than polished songs.

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