Target To Extend An Olive Branch Of Debt-Free Degrees To Over 340,000 Employees
Photo Credit: Sandy Huffaker/AP Images for Target

Target To Extend An Olive Branch Of Debt-Free Degrees To Over 340,000 Employees

Target is the latest major retail corporation to extend an olive branch for free education to its employees.

As previously reported by AfroTech, last month Walmart announced an education initiative in which the retailer would cover full tuition and book fees for their workers to go to college. Now, big-box retailer Target is joining in with its own debt-free education program that’s pledging roughly $200 million to fund the educational pursuits of its employees for the next four years.

According to an announcement from the corporation, all Target workers will be eligible for its free education program that will cover fees for select undergraduate programs, certificates, certifications, free textbooks and more with zero out-of-pocket costs starting on their first day of work. The ambitious initiative is said to apply to all 340,000 plus Target employees for what the retailer describes as “the most comprehensive debt-free education assistance program available in the retail industry.”

“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 — chief human resources officer at Target — said in a statement. “We don’t want the cost to be a barrier for anyone, and that’s where Target can step in to make education accessible for everyone. Our team members are the heart of Target’s strategy and success, and we have a long history of investing in industry-leading pay, extensive benefits and career opportunities to help our team thrive and have rewarding careers at Target.”

In partnership with education and upskilling platform Guild Education, Target shares that it has developed a few assistance options for its employees that include covering costs for debt-free education, tuition assistance and educational supplies.

Additionally, Target’s new program is said to be a part of Target Forward — the brand’s new sustainability strategy that aims to achieve goals to create an equitable and inclusive workforce. Building off of Target’s other learning programs, the new educational initiative is yet another example of how corporate America is taking steps to invest in and support career development for its workers.

This announcement follows Target’s commitment to spend $2 billion with Black-owned businesses by 2025 and add more than 500 Black-owned brands to its store shelves.

Target’s new education program is set to kick off this fall.

For more information about Target’s new initiative, click here.