Program provides pre-paid tuition for Amazon hourly employees to learn new skills

(Arlington, VA – December 7, 2022) — Norfolk State and Old Dominion universities will be partnering with Amazon to provide the company’s hourly employees access to undergraduate degrees and certificate programs.

The schools will partner with the company on its Career Choice program, an education benefit for employees to learn new skills to use at Amazon or at another company.

The program includes pre-paid college tuition, industry certifications designed to lead to in-demand jobs, and foundational skills like English language proficiency, high school diplomas and GEDs.

Amazon said it is investing $1.2 billion to “upskill” more than 300,000 employees by 2025. The program is open to hourly employees who have worked for the company for at least 90 days. Since the launch of the program in 2012, more than 90,000 Amazon employees have participated in the program – more than 60,000 of them in the U.S. The most popular fields are healthcare, transportation and information technology.

The company said both Norfolk State and Old Dominion “have proven records and unwavering missions to help students – including Amazon employees – through their education programs, which can help lead them to career success.”

Tammy Thieman, global program lead for Amazon’s Career Choice program, said the program would help its more-than-5,000 employees in the Hampton Roads region to provide them access to the education and training they need to grow in their career path.

“We’re thrilled to have Norfolk State University and Old Dominion University on board as Education Partners for Career Choice, adding to the hundreds of best-in-class offerings available to our employees,” Thieman said.

Norfolk State president Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston said in a statement that “since inception, Norfolk State University has met students where they are and offered a supportive academic and culturally diverse environment for students to realize their dreams.”

NSU president Javaune Adams-Gaston said partnering with Amazon to be a Career Choice school “provides another avenue to continue our mission.”

“Becoming an Amazon Career Choice school continues our commitment to bettering the lives and careers of workers in the region,” Hemphill said.