Amazon Career Choices Program pays for workers to go back to school
by Elias Funez
Aug 14, 2014 | 4473 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Amazon employee Reginald "Reggie" Jacob is a recipient of the Amazon Career Choices Program.--photo courtesy Daisy Dorado
Amazon employee Reginald "Reggie" Jacob is a recipient of the Amazon Career Choices Program.--photo courtesy Daisy Dorado
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Employees that have worked the year since the 1,000,000-square-foot Amazon Fulfillment Center opened last September will soon be eligible for Amazon’s Career Choices Program, which pays for employees to go back to school.

Amazon requires that workers complete one year of employment with the company before becoming eligible for the program that will pay up to 95% of tuition fees, or a maximum of $3,000 per year for up to four years.

“We’ve got hundreds of Career Choice applicants,” said Amazon spokesperson Ashley Robinson.

While many employees have yet to reach the one year mark, not all Amazon employees have had to wait to apply, including Amazon lead associate Reginald Jacob, who has been with Amazon for a year and ten months, and a participant of the Career Choices Program for the past four months.

25-year-old Jacob transferred from Amazon’s San Bernardino site when Patterson’s locale opened last year, and he initially sought employment with Amazon after learning of the Career Choices Program. He currently is living with family in Ceres, but plans to move to Patterson in January.

When Jacob first started with Amazon, three years of employment were required to be eligible for the program. So when Amazon recently lowered the amount of time required to be an employee to one year, it made the ability to receive the program’s benefits that much easier.

“When I first started working with Amazon, I knew about it,” said Jacob. “I was ready to join.”

Eligible subjects of study covered under the Career Choices Program are intended for high-wage, in-demand jobs in fields such as aircraft mechanics, computer-aided design, machine tool technologies, medical lab technologies, nursing and many other fields not necessarily related to futures with Amazon.

Jacob has spent the past four months taking classes online from the University of Phoenix, fulfilling the writing and media classes required for an accounting degree. His next course will be at the school’s physical location in Salida.

When finished, Jacob hopes to retain a position with a large corporation as a data analyst.

“It’s great, pre-paying for my tuition,” said Jacob. “It’s been that one little thing to move my life forward.” If he stays with his current education plan, Jacob will receive benefits under the program for a total 3 years and 10 months.

Being one of the first employees at Patterson’s Amazon Fulfillment Center to be a part of the Career Choices Program, Jacob has already received a lot of questions from fellow employees regarding the program.

“It’s been amazing,” said Jacob. “It’s been the initiative I needed to start back up and follow my career.”

Elias Funez can be reached at 209-892-6187 ext: 31 or elias@pattersonirrigator.com.
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