Amazon announced partnerships with the University of Delaware, Wilmington University, and Delaware Technical Community College to provide fully-funded college tuition to local frontline employees.
It comes as Amazon expands operations in Delaware with new fulfillment centers near Newport, areas south of New Castle, and a small site in Seaford.
The partnerships with the University of Delaware, Wilmington University, and Delaware Technical Community College are part of Amazon’s initiative to expand career advancement opportunities. It offers its 750,000 hourly employees in the U.S. by partnering with more than 140 national and local universities to provide fully-funded college tuition.
“The University of Delaware is committed to lifelong learning and to building bridges between professional and educational opportunities. We are excited that the Amazon Career Choice initiative will help us make our excellent educational programs accessible to working professionals in our region,” said University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis. “Whether Amazon employees want to take classes in person or online, whether to pursue a degree or simply expand their skill set, UD is proud to welcome them to the Blue Hen family and contribute to their career growth.”
“For over 50 years, Wilmington University has been a leader in supporting the unique needs of adult learners,” said Wilmington University President Dr. LaVerne Harmon. “Through our partnership with Amazon and its Career Choice initiative, we have found common ground in the importance of preparing students to be highly skilled in the competitive, global workforce. We look forward to providing Amazon employees career-relevant programs in multiple disciplines, either 100% online or in person, and are privileged to welcome them to Wilmington University.”
“Delaware Tech has been a proud partner with Amazon since 2015, providing certificate training in healthcare, information technology, and technical training programs. We have already served more than 300 students, and we look forward to continuing this partnership to serve even more students,” said Rachel Anderson, Director of Workforce Development and Community Education at Delaware Tech.
“Amazon continues to raise its game as it strives to become Earth’s Best Employer,” said Jennifer Brustman, human resources manager at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Middletown. “The latest example of this in Delaware is the expansion of our Career Choice program, which will allow our front-line employees to attend three great institutions – the University of Delaware, Wilmington University, or Delaware Technical Community College – at no cost to them. And this is just the start. We look forward to adding more schools soon.”
The agreement does not include Delaware State University, which recently opened a center in Wilmington and has its main campus in Dover, and Goldey-Beacom College, a four-year and graduate institution in Pike Creek west of Wilimington.
Front-line employees in Delaware may also take classes offered by new national nonprofit education providers, including Southern New Hampshire University, Colorado State University–Global, Western Governors University, and National University. Amazon is also partnering with GEDWorks and Smart Horizons to provide high school completion and GED preparation, Voxy EnGen and goFLUENT to provide English language proficiency training, and Outlier to provide college preparation courses – at no charge.
These new partnerships are part of Amazon’s continued investment in its Career Choice program, which now offers fully-funded college tuition, allows employees to participate every year they work at Amazon and gives them eligibility after only 90 days of employment. Through Career Choice, employees can pursue a Bachelor’s degree, earn industry certifications leading to in-demand jobs, and build skills through English language proficiency and high school completion programs.
Amazon also operates 110 Career Choice classrooms located in fulfillment centers in 37 states.
In Delaware, Amazon has Career Choice classrooms at its Boxwood, New Castle, and Middletown sites. Since launching in 2012, Career Choice has helped provide education for more than 50,000 employees.
Amazon employees are not limited to the classrooms and can also take classes online or on-campus.
According to a release, Amazon pays employees an average starting wage of $18 per hour and provides comprehensive health benefits, paid time off, and up to 20 weeks of fully paid parental leave.
For further information on Career Choice is offered at https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/workplace/career-choice