Amazon Adds College to its Career Choice Program; Workers Can Attend College for Free
Moreno Valley College was one of 40 higher education institutions added to Amazon's Career Choice program this month. The addition of institutions brings the total number of approved colleges to 180 in 14 countries that can provide educational services to Amazon employees.
In California 10 higher education institutions are approved providers of services. Of the 10, seven are community colleges. In addition to MVC, Riverside City, Bakersfield, Chaffey, Clovis, Modesto and Sacramento community colleges, two California State Universities — Fresno and Stanislaus — are also approved along with SW Academy in San Francisco.
In fall of 2021, Amazon invested $1.2 billion in its hourly workforce. A portion of the monies included tuition funding opportunities for nearly a million operation workers. Then, in January of this year, Amazon announced its Career Choice program.
Under the program, hourly employees can attend for free. Hourly employees, who have been with Amazon for at least 90 days, can apply to any institution through the Career Choice website. Amazon will cover 100 percent of tuition, books and fees — with no lifetime limit. Employees are approved to take courses in foundational skills, such as English courses, career pathways to advance within Amazon, and credit programs to earn a degree. This month, Amazon made the announcement on the expansion of the program by unveiling additional educational partners, such as MVC.
Amazon, the largest private employer in the Inland Empire, has expanded quickly across the region. The company opened eight new facilities in the Inland Empire in 2020 and at least another five in 2021, resulting in about three dozen facilities now posted in the region.
The College is continuing to look to work with companies to showcase educational opportunities.
"We want workers to know that we are available to assist in moving from a job to a career mentality," Robin Steinback, Ph.D., president of MVC, said. "The College is anxious to work side by side with companies like Amazon to better train its employees so they have a better trained workforce and individuals have opportunities to grow and advance within the company."