Employment and Jobs

Disney Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of “Aspire” Education Program

August 21, 2019  • UpSkill America

UpSkill America is an employer-led movement to expand opportunity for America’s workers and allow our economy and communities to thrive. As part of our mission to advance the upskilling movement, we are pleased to share the following news featuring one of our partners.

Ryan Pragano, attractions coordinator at Walt Disney World and Disney Aspire student

Ryan Pragano, attractions coordinator at Walt Disney World and Disney Aspire student

The Walt Disney Company celebrated the one-year anniversary of the launch of Disney Aspire, its free education program administered in partnership with Guild Education. The five-year, $150 million investment gives employees the opportunity to earn a high school diploma, college degree, certificate, and more. The number of educational offerings has doubled since launch and includes nearly 300 academic paths at 11 different schools. For participating employees, 100% of the tuition cost is covered up front, required books and fees are reimbursable, and graduates are under no obligation to stay with Disney after completion. In its first year, more than 40% of eligible hourly employees signed up to participate, and more than 8,000 have enrolled in classes. Click here to learn more.

With this milestone, Disney demonstrates its continued commitment to the upskilling movement. The company is frequently recognized for its upskilling efforts and is a featured player in our UpSkilling Playbook for Employers. Click here to learn more about college degree programs in our UpSkilling Playbook for Employers.



#Upskilling is magical. One year after launch, @WaltDisneyCo’s free #DisneyAspire program continues to put employees’ educational goals (and dreams) within reach.

“It shows that [@WaltDisneyCo] really cares about all of our employees and cast members, and they truly want to help us achieve our goals and our dreams—no matter what they are.” -Krista Ledbetter, #DisneyAspire student.

“It’s an honor to be a part of such an amazing program that gives cast members opportunities to enhance their futures.” -Ryan Pragano, #DisneyAspire student @WaltDisneyCo.

“With #DisneyAspire, we are helping employees create the futures they imagine for themselves.” -Jayne Parker, senior EVP & chief HR officer @WaltDisneyCo.


More upskilling news from Disney


Employment and Jobs
Disney Invests in Employees’ Futures with Unprecedented Education Program
August 21, 2018 • UpSkill America


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