Employment and Jobs

Models of Upskilling: College Degrees

June 1, 2017  • UpSkill America & Jaime S. Fall

Brinker International and Pearson Partner to Offer No Cost Education to Chili’s and Maggiano’s Employees

Brinker International, owner of Chili’s Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy, has partnered with Pearson to offer a comprehensive educational program for employees, called Best You EDU.

Best You EDU was designed to meet Team Members where they are on their educational journey, offering three main components: Foundational, GED, and associate degrees.

  • No cost Foundational Program: Provides language, skills development, and bilingual coaching in a mobile-first environment.
  • No cost GED Program: Provides online GED prep curriculum, bilingual advisory support, and unlimited test-pass GED credential guarantees.
  • No cost associate degree: Provides an online pathway to an associate degree in business or general studies through a regionally accredited college, including all courses, text and study materials, and advising and coaching support.

The program was designed to eliminate as many barriers to educational attainment as possible: time, money, access, support, and foundational issues such as language and literacy.

Lyft Offers Employees College Advising and Tuition Discounts

Lyft drivers will have access to personalized college advising and tuition discounts for thousands of classes, certificates, and degrees from more than 80 online nonprofit universities and learning providers. Programs include bachelor’s and master’s degrees, certificates in subjects such as Data Science and HTML, and other skills such as GED, vocational courses, and English-as-a-second-language.

Amazon Career Choice Program

The Amazon Career Choice program is designed to help employees complete certificates and two-year programs of their choice in an in-demand career path. After an associate has been employed by Amazon for as little as one continuous year, the Amazon Career Choice Program will pre-pay 95 percent of tuition and fees for him or her to earn a certificate or associate degree in a high-demand occupation, such as aircraft mechanics, computer-aided design, machine tool technologies, medical lab technologies, and nursing, among others, regardless of whether those skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. In-demand career paths are determined using labor market information sources such as the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Onsite classrooms play an important part in assisting workers to successfully complete their programs, even if this means a complete career change and leaving Amazon.

Anthem Free College Degree Program

Anthem Inc., one of the nation’s largest health benefits companies, offers any of its 55,000 benefits-eligible, full- and part-time associates the opportunity to pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree at no cost through College for America at Southern New Hampshire University. The program offers a competency-based online curriculum that is engineered to help employees fit a fully accredited college degree into their busy lives as working adults.

Chipotle Bachelor’s Degree in Business Program

Chipotle partners with Bellevue University and Guild Education to provide its employees the opportunity to earn an online bachelor’s degree in business in 18 months. Classes fit into workers’ schedules and are designed to help them grow in their careers with Chipotle. The program is part of Chipotle’s educational assistance program, which provides up to $5,250 a year in tuition assistance and a Guild Education personal success coach who helps students enroll in classes and apply for financial aid.

Fiat Chrysler Degrees@Work

Employees, as well as their family members, of Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, and FIAT dealerships can earn no-cost, no-debt college degrees through Strayer University’s Degrees@Work program.

JetBlue Scholars

JetBlue Scholars provides crew members an opportunity to earn a fully accredited college degree with the company covering most of the cost. The program helps full-time crewmembers who have already earned some college credits by offering college advisement and resources, alternative college credit options, and tuition reimbursement. JetBlue Scholars staff advisers help crew members navigate the path to degree completion and receive credit for previously earned professional certificates, reducing the time to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Manpower MyPath Program

The Manpower MyPath program includes a full college tuition coverage program offering eligible US associates the opportunity to pursue a college education through Western International University, along with career counseling to help associates make career choices that are right for them. MyPath provides associates with assessment, guidance, development, and an education that positions them for career opportunities with Manpower in the US.

In 2017, ManpowerGroup expanded its MyPath program through a partnership with University or Phoenix to offer more degree courses in a wide range of in-demand subjects including cybersecurity, information technology and health administration.

Starbucks College Achievement Plan

The Starbucks College Achievement Plan, a collaboration with Arizona State University, offers Starbucks employees the opportunity to pursue their choice of over 70 online undergraduate programs. All benefits-eligible U.S. employees may participate, and employees who have served in the military are able to extend the benefit to their spouse, domestic partner or child. In addition to full tuition coverage, this program offers support in the form of dedicated coaches and advisors and 24/7 tutoring. As of Spring 2018 the Starbucks College Achievement Plan has over 10,000 participants and more than 1,700 employees have graduated from Arizona State University.

Hotel Industry Free College Degree Program

The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation, the foundation arm of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, launched a pilot program to offer streamlined degree programs to hotel industry employees in partnership with Pearson’s AcceleratED Pathways program. Through this initiative, ten hotel companies will engage employees across 1,500 hotel properties, allowing them to pursue higher education pathways at no cost to the employee.

McDonald’s “Archways to Opportunity” College Degree Program

Through Archways to Opportunity, McDonald’s gives employees the chance to earn a college degree. The program helps them to explore educational opportunities and gives them the financial support needed to puruse their education.

Kroger’s “Feed Your Future” Education Support Program

Lower federal taxes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enabled Kroger to introduce Feed Your Future, which offers associates an employee education benefit of up to $3,500 annually ($21,000 over the course of employment) toward continuing education and development opportunities including a high school equivalency exam, professional certifications, and advanced degrees. As part of Feed Your Future, Kroger is also introducing a new educational leave of absence that allows associates to take time off work to focus on approved studies, while maintaining a role with the family of companies and their seniority.



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Employment and Jobs
Models of Upskilling
June 1, 2017 • UpSkill America & 1 more


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Employment and Jobs
UpSkilling Playbook for Employers
June 1, 2017 • UpSkill America & 1 more