Target just pledged to pay 100 percent of tuition and textbook costs for more than 340,000 employees
As if we needed another reason to love Target. Our favorite store — land of popcorn-scented shopping for cute-yet-affordable clothes, Pinterest-worth holiday decor, and the promised land: the $1 bins — is doing it again. In addition to being a major retailer actually committed to social justice, Target just announced another stan-worthy stance: It’s launching a “debt-free education initiative” that means the company will pay for tuition and textbooks for any of its employees who go to school.
Target is partnering with Guild Education to give employees the ability to choose from 250 programs at more than 40 U.S. schools and universities where they can study, including historically Black colleges and universities such as Morehouse College and Paul Quinn College. Target will foot the entire bill, including tuition fees and textbook costs, for any of its more than 340,000 employees — whether they work full- or part-time. The program is available to employees at stores, distribution centers and headquarters locations.
What’s even better is that the program doesn’t just cover college costs. Target workers can access funding for high school programs, college prep, English language learning, and different certificates and bootcamps. Students can even access up to $10,000 in funding for master’s programs.
“A significant number of our hourly team members build their careers at Target, and we know many would like to pursue additional education opportunities,” Melissa Kremer, Target’s chief human resources officer, said in a statement. “We don’t want the cost to be a barrier for anyone, and that’s where Target can step in to make education accessible for everyone. Our team members are the heart of Target’s strategy and success, and we have a long history of investing in industry-leading pay, extensive benefits and career opportunities to help our team thrive and have rewarding careers at Target.”
In a press release, Target promised to invest $200 million in the program over the next four years.
In an interview with CNBC, Guild Education CEO Rachel Carlson explained why more and more major retailers are offering to cover education costs as a standard benefit for their employees.
“We’ve hit the moment where employers, and really the most innovative employers, are realizing the best thing they can do to differentiate themselves as a company and as an employer is to offer economic mobility, upskilling, and the opportunity to gain more skills and move up within a company or eventually move on,” she said. “We’re seeing companies that are offering education…are winning the war for talent.”