The U.S. Army is experiencing a number of transformations, and a lot of thought and effort is being put into keeping service members and their families engaged in the mission during this time of change. On behalf of Amazon, I was privileged to participate in a panel discussion Thursday just outside of Washington D.C. discussing that topic and Amazon’s peculiar take on associate engagement.
The panel was organized by the Association of the U.S. Army – and of course we used it as an opportunity to spread the word about our Amazon Military Talent Partnership recruiting program and our initiative to hire military spouses into work-from-home Customer Service Associate roles.
But even more, I was eager to share Amazon’s view on career development and advancement, and so I talked about Career Choice, our innovative take on a tuition assistance program.
You see, we understand that, while many associates come to Amazon for a long-term career, others see Amazon as just one step in their personal career journey. It’s our goal to help people pursue their dreams, even if that means leaving the employment of Amazon.
So, with Career Choice, we try to eliminate barriers that associates may face. The first way we do that is by pre-paying for tuition and books, up to 95 percent of the cost, rather than asking associates to front the cash and ask for reimbursement. Another barrier we eliminate is the uncertainty of whether going back to school will be worth it. We do the homework, working with the Bureau of Labor Statistics and others, to find out which fields are in high demand and will lead to real jobs. We also help with time, by holding classes right on-site in our Fulfillment Centers and scheduling them when they make sense for associate’s work patterns.
We’re proud of the way Amazon helps folks transition in their lives – whether that’s from military to civilian life or from Amazon to another career aspiration. And we are eager to share the details of our peculiar employee engagement programs with others who might want to consider putting something similar in place for their employees.
Thanks again to the Association of the U.S. Army for inviting our participation today.