PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Amazon is adding a local college to its list of educational opportunities for employees.
As the company focuses on career growth, thousands of hourly workers can have their degrees paid for while on the job.
SPECIAL COVERAGE: Education
Palm Beach State College, just west of Lake Worth Beach, is now one of dozens across the country where Amazon employees can come further their education, and the company will foot the bill.
"It’s a good campus," student Cassidy Raymond said. "I do like it. It’s a lot of fun activities. You meet new people every day, new teachers."
As long time friends Raymond and Clintoia Walker take a break from studying, they are excited to hear some of their new classmates may be Amazon employees, taking classes on the company's dime.
"I’m pretty sure some employees are working all day," Walker said. "They probably didn’t think they had a chance to come back to school. So the fact that they get to do that, I think that’s really amazing."
Palm Beach State College just became an education partner for the global company's Career Choice program, as Amazon invests more than $1 billion to help more than 300,000 employees move into higher-paying, more in-demand jobs.
"I think employees have all sorts of options of where they can work. So they are looking for employers to show they are concerned about them and their general overall well being," said Palm Beach State College President Ava Parker.
Parker said the program is a win-win for the school and the employees who chose to go there, whether in-person or online.
"To be able to reach another student who is clearly hungry for an opportunity for success and growth, it’s a great way for them not to have a barrier wondering how they are going to pay for the opportunity," Parker said.
The school will also offer wrap-around services to help the employees succeed.
"We’re probably dealing with students who have a gap since they were last in college," Parker said. "So what kind of things can we provide them as support to deal with the gap in services they’ve had for the academic experience?"
Raymond and Walker said they hope to one day work for a company that would do the same thing for them.
"Some people don’t really have access to education, so it’s a good opportunity," Raymond said.
For more information about Amazon’s Career Choice program, click here.