In yesterday’s Advisor, we discussed how traditional development isn’t enough if organizations want to create truly visionary leaders; today we look at a few special training programs that are designed to help employees earn while they learn.
From enrollment in college degree programs to apprenticeships to “Returnships®,” employers are offering many opportunities to help workers advance their education and sharpen their skills while earning a paycheck.
Take Manpower’s new MyPath Program, which offers a Full College Tuition Coverage program that is open to most actively assigned U.S. associates who are pursuing an associate’s or a first-time bachelor’s degree. The program is offered through Western International University and requires participants to complete the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
“By eliminating cost as a barrier to a degree and combined with specialized coaching, we’re helping people develop in-demand, career-relevant skills at a pace that works with their busy lives,” said Tracy Lorenz, president of Western International University. “Earning and learning don’t have to be mutually exclusive,” says Kip Wright, senior vice president of Manpower in North America.
Similarly, a new partnership between Chipotle Mexican Grill and Guild Education makes it more affordable for Chipotle employees to enroll in college classes or pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree.
Chipotle employees receive a discount on their tuition through Guild Education and can tap into Chipotle’s existing tuition reimbursement program, which was expanded to include hourly employees in 2015. The tuition reimbursement program offers up to $5,250 per year. When combined with “an additional $5,815 in available federal grants for those who qualify,” Chipotle employees can go to college for “as little as $250 per year,” the company stated.
“The programs help Chipotle employees gain credit for their past college coursework and up to 44 transfer credit hours for on-the-job training in crew, kitchen manager, service manager, and apprentice manager positions,” the company explained, noting that employees take online classes and are supported by a college and career advisor.
Apprenticeships and returnships also provide opportunities for workers to earn while they learn.
In an effort to address an industrywide shortage of auto body technicians, ABRA Auto Body & Glass has launched a free apprenticeship program through its Career Development Academy. As part of the ABRA Springboard Apprentice Program, participants receive 5 weeks of paid training and earn multiple I-CAR® certifications. After successfully completing the program, participants are hired in an ABRA repair center, according to the company.
“Ready to Return,” a revamped, professional development and paid internship program at ReadyTalk, is geared toward those who want to return to work after taking “2 or more years off due to life circumstances,” such as caregiving responsibilities.
“Whether coming back from maternity or paternity obligations, taking care of sick or elderly loved ones, military service, or other health and family circumstances, we want to ensure individuals are getting proper opportunities to re-immerse themselves in the workforce,” said Courtney Graham, senior director of Human Resources at ReadyTalk.
This year, ReadyTalk will offer four paid returnships lasting 22 weeks. In addition to receiving hands-on job experience, participants shadow various departments, receive career coaching, network, participate in a résumé workshop, and receive transition assistance.
John Bortscheller, who completed the program last year and was hired by ReadyTalk as a sales development representative, spoke highly of the program. “The resources at my disposal, as well as the boundless professional and personal support I received from everyone at the company, made the program one of the best career choices I’ve ever made.”