SUNY Empire State College has been accepted as a premier member into the Amazon Career Choice program, an education benefit that empowers Amazon employees to learn new skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere.
SUNY Empire is the first institution within the SUNY system to partner with the Amazon Career Choice program.
Officials said partnership with SUNY Empire will make it more convenient for Amazon’s hourly employees to earn their undergraduate degree online, in person at SUNY Empire locations, at Amazon Career Choice classrooms located across New York state, or a combination of all three.
Through its Career Choice program, Amazon provides funding for employees’ tuition, books, and fees with no lifetime limit on participating.
SUNY Empire and Amazon are collaborating to hold fall information sessions for Amazon employees across New York state, beginning with the company’s two Staten Island distribution centers, as well as distribution centers in Albany and Buffalo. The goal is to eventually expand the partnership to eligible employees in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
The college will also begin offering college courses on site at Amazon’s Career Choice Classrooms in Staten Island and Albany in the spring of 2023. In the U.S. alone, the company is investing $1.2 billion to upskill more than 300,000 Amazon employees by 2025 to help move them into higher-paying, in-demand jobs.
SUNY Empire was selected to Amazon’s Career Choice program, in part, because of its unique position within the SUNY system as a pioneer and leading provider of online and hybrid education and supports for working adults. The college is also a national leader in prior learning assessment (PLA), evaluating and granting college credit for relevant prior work and life experience.