Target unveils tuition assistance perk to woo retail workers

MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. revealed its latest employee recruitment perk Wednesday, aimed at attracting and retaining talent in a shrinking retail labor market.

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According to CNBC, the Minneapolis-based big-box chain will begin covering the cost of tuition, fees and textbooks for both part- and full-time workers who pursue a qualifying degree at more than 40 schools, colleges and universities this fall.

The retailer will also provide up to $10,000 per year for master’s degree programs offered by those same schools, the network reported.

“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 prepared statement.

“We don’t want the cost to be a barrier for anyone,” Kremer added.

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Schools participating in the four-year, $200 million program include the University of Arizona, Oregon State University, University of Denver, Morehouse College and Cornell University, The Washington Post reported.

The tuition assistance program will be available to Target’s more than 340,000 U.S.-based employees at stores, distribution centers and headquarters locations nationwide, effective on their start dates, with the company covering the full cost of “250 programs aligned to its business, such as computer science, information technology and business management,” CNBC reported.

Meanwhile, Target will pay up to $5,250 toward undergraduate degrees and up to $10,000 for master’s degrees in “direct payments to the academic institution(s),” the network confirmed.

Target joined a host of other high-profile retailers - including Walmart, Taco Bell and Walt Disney Co. - in partnering with Denver startup Guild Education to launch the employment perk, the Post reported.