With many major retailers struggling to hire new workers, several have had to find creative ways to attract dedicated employees. As a result, many large-scale U.S. companies are offering more and better benefits to their prospective staff. Target is the latest big-box store to announce that it will now be offering 100 percent free college tuition assistance to all of its team members—following the examples of other large retail stores and restaurant chains like Chipotle, Starbucks, and Walmart.
In partnership with education platform Guild Education, Target is planning to invest $200 million into its debt-free education assistance benefit for its employees. The initiative is part of the store’s Target Forward sustainability strategy, which among its other facets seeks to promote access to education and help eliminate student debt for its team members. And this perk isn’t just offered to employees who fall within a narrow margin of qualifying factors. The retailer will be providing access to over 250 free undergraduate and associates degree programs, certificates, and bootcamps at over 40 affiliated schools, colleges, and universities for both its full-time and part-time employees.
“Target employs team members at every life stage and helps our team learn, develop, and build their skills, whether they’re with us for a year or a career,” says Melissa Kremer, chief human resources officer at Target. “A significant number of our hourly team members build their careers at Target, and we know many would like to pursue additional education opportunities. We don’t want the cost to be a barrier for anyone, and that’s where Target can step in to make education accessible for everyone.”
Target will also cover textbooks and course fees with no out-of-pocket costs required of its program beneficiaries. Additionally, the company will pay up to $10,000 annually for master’s degree programs within its network of schools. Some of those include the University of Arizona, Oregon State University, and historically Black universities like Morehouse College and Paul Quinn College. Though similar programs require students to pay the tuition costs upfront and be reimbursed later, Target will be making direct payments to the academic institutions to further reduce the financial burden for its team members.
To learn more about Target’s college tuition assistance program, visit the company’s website.