Elevate your enterprise data technology and strategy at Transform 2021.
Rarely do you see the CEO of a $180 billion company care much about its warehouse workers.
But Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos takes a pretty unique approach in providing career help to its employees at the company’s fulfillment centers, where Amazon‘s orders get packaged and shipped.
Since 2012, Amazon has offered a program called Career Choice, where the company pays 95 percent of tuition for its fulfillment and customer service center employees to take courses in non-work related fields, such as airplane mechanics, nursing, and medical lab technologies.
And according to Bezos’ annual shareholder letter published Friday, more than 2,000 employees from 8 different countries took advantage of this program. In fact, demand has been so high that Amazon now offers onsite courses at 8 of its fulfillment centers, with plans to expand even further to other regions.
The idea behind this is to “enable choice” for employees. While some fulfillment center employees will carve out a long career at Amazon, some might take it as a temporary stop on the way to a different position that, in some cases, may require specific skills. Bezos wrote:
We believe Career Choice is an innovative way to draw great talent to serve customers in our fulfillment and customer service centers. These jobs can become gateways to great careers with Amazon as we expand around the world or enable employees the opportunity to follow their passion in other in-demand technical fields, like our very first Career Choice graduate did when she started a new career as a nurse in her community.
In fact, this isn’t the first time Bezos offered a choice to his fulfillment center employees. In last year’s shareholder letter, Bezos talked about the Pay to Quit program, where workers in the fulfillment centers are given the option to take up to $5,000 to leave the company.
Bezos said at the time that the idea was to encourage people to really think about their careers. “In the long run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company,” he wrote.
The Career Choice program offers up to $3,000 a year for 95 percent of tuition, in addition to another 95 percent of textbook costs. You can learn more about Amazon’s Career Choice program here.
This story originally appeared on Business Insider. Copyright 2015
VentureBeatVentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
- up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
- our newsletters
- gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
- networking features, and more