- Chick-Fil-A has increased funding for its employee scholarship program to $14.5 million for 2018, a $5.7 million increase over last year.
- The employer said it will award scholarships of either $2,500 or $25,000 to more than 5,700 employees who are beginning or continuing their higher education. Scholarships can be used for any area of study at any accredited institution, including any two- or four-year colleges and universities, online programs or technical/vocational schools, Chick-Fil-A said. There is no requirement of hours worked or length of service to qualify.
- The company also noted that its 120,000 workers across the nation have access to tuition discounts and other education benefits at 100 universities.
Employers are increasingly using tuition benefits not only to attract employees but also upskill workers who may remain loyal team members. Businesses in the fast food and retail industries have been particularly vocal about this effort in recent months.
McDonald’s has committed $150 million over the next five years for educational assistance and college advisory services. Employees can begin with ESL, high school equivalency and college assistance. Some of the programing is even available to family members of employees.
In the home improvement retail realm, the major retailers are providing millions in training and educational funding. Lowe’s is offering $2,500 upfront payments for tuition for trade certification that includes academic coaching and placement in pre-apprenticeship programs in the company’s contractor network. At At Home Depot, following the successful piloting of a program targeted to upskill veterans, the company announced $50 million to train employees in skilled trade careers.
For employers facing both a talent shortage and a skills gap, tuition assistance could be one way to chip away at both of those problems.