Through the Amazon Career Choice Program offered to eligible employees, the company will pre-pay 95 percent of tuition at accredited schools up to $12,000 over four years. Brent Lancaster, an associate at Amazon’s Lebanon fulfillment center, is one of many employees using this generous benefit. Read his story in the Nov. 14 issue of The Lebanon Democrat.
Tuition program helps educate employees
Indications show that the country’s future workforce has to be educated, and one company is providing its employees with a boost for their future.
The Amazon Career Choice Program launched in July 2012, and at least one Lebanon Amazon employee, Brent Lancaster, is taking advantage of the opportunity Amazon provided him with.
“It’s one of the good benefits we have here at Amazon,” said Lancaster, who is gearing up for his fourth peak season at Amazon. “It helps relieve a financial burden.”
Through the Amazon Career Choice Program, the company will pre-pay 95 percent of an eligible employee’s tuition at accredited schools up to $12,000 over four years.
Lancaster currently takes online classes and is pursuing a pharmacy technician certification. Although his career plans don’t include Amazon, he said the company supports them.
“It’s something different that Amazon’s doing by prepaying for education in jobs that are in high demand, regardless if it’s a career related to Amazon,” said Nina Lindsey, Amazon public relations and communications officer.
“It feels good to know they’re passionate and supportive about their associates,” said Lancaster, who plans to have his pharmacy technician certification by April 2015. He said he plans to begin work at a pharmacy such as CVS or Walgreens, and eventually in a hospital.
Lancaster said the Career Choice Program was his first opportunity at a higher education after he moved to Middle Tennessee from Mississippi in 1999.
“Rather than getting a degree or certification that benefits a place you work for, Amazon’s program allows you to do something that fits and benefits you,” he said.
Lancaster said the program also allows him to balance work, education and family. Lancaster is married with an 11-year-old son and said his school schedule blends well with his work schedule.
He said he usually works four days a week and uses two of his off days for his education, which allows him to enjoy a day exclusively with his family.
Lancaster is one of hundreds across the country taking advantage of the program, according to Lindsey.
Lindsey said the program also covers the cost of books, testing, exams and additional requirements.
“I think it’s great they’re encouraging people to go back to school,” Lancaster said.