Today Amazon signed the Pledge to America’s Workers and announced we will be upskilling 50,000 U.S. employees through our range of innovative training programs. This pledge is a continuation of Amazon’s commitment to give employees the opportunity to gain new skills and create more job options for themselves – whether at Amazon or elsewhere.
We’ve created programs that meet our employees where they are, enabling Amazonians to gain training while at work. A couple of these initiatives are the Amazon Technical Veterans Apprenticeship program, which provides veterans on-the-job training in fields like cloud computing, and Career Choice, which pre-pays 95% of our hourly associates’ fees for courses in high-demand fields. We’ve been able to build and scale these programs through strong public policy partnerships that incentivize organizations to reskill their workers, through education partners who can be flexible in the trainings they offer, and with private sector employers who are open to hiring re-skilled workers.
Today at the White House, I was privileged to join three employees who embody the potential of the opportunities we’re giving our associates:
Terry Dickerson was a signal officer in the U.S. Army, and joined Amazon as an associate cloud consultant apprentice in Northern Virginia. During his paid on-the-job training at Amazon, he gained exposure to artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and the internet of things.
Colleen Woods joined Amazon in 2015 at a fulfillment center outside of Dallas. She completed Amazon’s Career Choice aerospace manufacturing course this fall, and received an intent to hire letter from Lockheed Martin.
Joshua Hunt was an imagery intelligence analyst in the Army until 2010, serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He became a government contractor after his military service ended and last year joined Amazon as a data center technician apprentice – which has provided him paid education, certifications, and on-job training for Joshua to become an IT professional.
Across Amazon we’ve looked for opportunities for our employees to upskill into new career paths – whether at Amazon or elsewhere. As someone who has changed careers – I was a signal officer in the Army, a technical writer in Silicon Valley, jumped into mergers and acquisitions at Intel, and even in my four years at Amazon have gone from recruiting tech talent at Amazon Web Services to overseeing people operations for Amazon’s vast fulfillment network – I believe in the importance of creating pathways to new careers, and that’s why I’m proud to sign today’s pledge.
I’m excited by the potential of providing 50,000 more Amazon employees in the U.S. with opportunities to gain skills to move into even higher paying jobs – jobs that are an entrée to a new career. This is how we’ll continue to evolve our workforce – and the workforce of the communities where we operate – by offering meaningful trainings that can transform the lives of employees who choose to participate. We’re grateful to the White House for their efforts to provide job training opportunities for America’s workers, and we are proud to stand for upskilling opportunities across Amazon and across the country.