Amazon Career Choice Program Expands to UNC Greensboro

The partnership was announced as Amazon is investing $1.2 billion to educate more than 300,000 hourly workers in high-demand fields by 2025.
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  • UNC Greensboro is joining the Amazon Career Choice program, which offers free tuition to the company's hourly employees.
  • Amazon scaled up the program with free tuition last year, committing to investing $1.2 billion.
  • Enrollment in the program is up 45% this year, according to Amazon.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) is the latest college to offer free tuition to hourly Amazon employees.

The partnership is part of Amazon's Career Choice program, which offers prepaid tuition to the company's hourly employees. UNCG is the first institution in the Piedmont Triad, an area in north-central North Carolina, to take part in the Career Choice program, according to a university release.

"The ease of access and academic excellence we offer is essential to train the future workforce," UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam said in a release. "Like Amazon, we understand that timely delivery is critical — with this exciting partnership, we are transforming the way we provide coursework to meet students where they are and opening opportunities to them."

The move comes as Amazon is looking to upskill more than 300,000 of its employees to work in high-demand fields by 2025, according to the release. The company is investing $1.2 billion as part of that effort.

The move comes as Amazon is looking to upskill more than 300,000 of its employees to work in high-demand fields by 2025.

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More than 1,400 Amazon associates work at facilities in Guilford County, where UNCG is located, according to the release.

Amazon said in a recent release that Career Choice has seen a dramatic uptick since last year: There has been a 45% increase in employees participating in the program since 2021. More than 25,000 Amazon employees joined the program so far in 2022. And Amazon says the global enrollment in the program is more than 80,000 since the $1.2 billion investment in the program was announced last year.

Amazon and other tech companies have turned to higher education as they race for workforce development in recent years.

Earlier this year, Google partnered with the American Association of Community Colleges to bring its Google Career Certificates program to rural community colleges as part of a pilot program. The company opted in 2021 to offer the career certificates, which include training for in-demand tech jobs, for free to community colleges and career and technical education high schools.

In 2021, Microsoft announced a campaign to recruit 250,000 people from community colleges into cybersecurity by 2025, and IBM has, for years, offered internships and apprenticeships as part of a partnership with community colleges.