Dolly Parton is an American icon who is known not only for her incredible talent as a celebrated musician but also for her boundless generosity and philanthropic efforts. From donating $1 million to fund vaccine research during the COVID-19 pandemic to giving free books to young children to promote literacy, Parton’s positive reach has touched thousands of lives. Now, employees at the country superstar’s own Dollywood theme parks and resorts will receive life-changing benefits that will help them to further their education and personal development. The company recently announced that starting this February, it would cover 100% of tuition, fees, and books for any employees who wish to return to school.
Offered through Parton’s operating partner Herschend Enterprises, the new benefit will be available to all seasonal, part-time, and full-time employees at every level. They’re calling the new program GROW U, and it will be powered by the nation’s leading education and upskilling platform, Guild Education. The initiative will fully fund more than 100 diploma, degree, and certificate programs that include coursework in high-demand fields such as the culinary arts, business administration, finance, technology, and marketing. The company will also provide up to $5,250 per year in partial funding for an additional 150 programs in other fields like hospitality, engineering, human resources, and art design.
“One of The Dollywood Foundation’s key tenets is to ‘learn more,’” says The Dollywood Company President Eugene Naughton. “This program is created with that very tenet in mind. We want our hosts to develop themselves through advanced learning to fulfill the foundation’s other tenets: care more, dream more, and be more. When our hosts strive to grow themselves, it makes our business and our community a truly better place.”
Herschend’s GROW U is expected to launch on February 24, and all employees will be eligible to enroll in the program from their very first day on the job. To learn more about the program visit the Dollywood website.