Do a quick job search on LinkedIn or Indeed, and it’s clear that most full-time job listings still require applicants to have a four-year degree — but the prohibitive cost of higher education makes this an unrealistic expectation for some job seekers.
Retail giant, Macy’s has partnered with Guild Education, an education benefits provider, to help its U.S. workers pay for tuition, books, and fees for a variety of academic programs including high school completion, college prep, English classes, associate and bachelor’s degrees, and professional certificates.
“As we continue our transformation to be a digitally-led omnichannel retailer, a critical component of our growth includes investing in our talent and enhancing all aspects of their Macy’s experience with a strong focus on advancement opportunities, culture, and engagement,” Danielle Kirgan, chief transformation and human resources officer at Macy’s said in a statement. “This program removes a major barrier to accessing education and will help our colleagues to further develop their skills and grow their careers and earning potential.”
Forty-seven percent of employers offer an undergraduate or graduate tuition assistance benefit, according to data from the Society for Human Resource Management. Upskilling employees has become a priority for employers as they continue to battle the great resignation, as many workers voluntarily leave jobs in search of better benefits, better cultures, and investments in their future.
Macy’s education benefit will become available in February of 2022 and will be accessible via a web portal where employees can browse the different programs available and receive personalized coaching and support throughout their education journey.
Macy’s has also announced it will raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour for all new and existing employees. The retailer has already done so in some U.S. markets and expects a national rollout by May of 2022.
“By investing in our colleagues’ education and financial well-being, we’re determined to make it possible for them to bring the best of themselves to work every day and to enable them to pursue their own aspirations within and outside of Macy’s,” Kirgan said.