Waste Management Inc. is personal-freedoms of college expenses for its employees and their families.
The company’s Your Tomorrow program, in collaboration with Guild Education, offers employees and their “eligible dependents” the ability to chose “from a full range of education options, including earning a college degree” at no cost to them.
Nearly 36,000 full-time employees nationwide will have access to more than 170 fully funded programs, the company announced Thursday.
This includes undergraduate and graduate degrees and will also cover the cost of short-form technology and business certificate programs as well as high school completion.
The education and training programs focus primarily on business, technology, science and mathematics, which directly ties into the needs of the business, according to Waste Management.
An employee walks toward a garbage collection truck in San Leandro, Calif., on Feb. 12, 2018.
(David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Competency in these areas will be “critical to the future of WM’s business” where employees are asked to operate “technology-enabled fleet and equipment and enhance the customer experience.”
The program “supports the reskilling and retention of existing talent, while also helping to attract new talent to equip the business with a skilled workforce for the future,” according to Waste Management Chief People Officer Tamla Oates-Forney.
However, employees won’t be the only ones benefitting from the education and upskilling benefit program.
“[The program] will soon help our team members eliminate the financial burden of providing for their dependent’s education as well,” Oates-Forney said.
Later this year, benefits-eligible dependents, which include nearly 34,000 children and spouses, will be allowed to enroll in educational programs for the following year.
Waste Management said this is the first time a company has extended education opportunities “at this scale.”
In doing so, Guild Education CEO Rachel Carlson said Waste Management is “setting the standard for how organizations can creatively invest not only in their employees, but also those employees’ children and families, in a way that ties to their company strategy.”
The program is one of a handful of incentives the company announced as part of its hiring push to fill essential frontline driver and technician positions across North America.
The company will be holding “career day” events on May 21-22 in an effort to fill the positions. To persuade job seekers, the company said the positions will come with a range of new employee benefits aside from the Your Tomorrow program, including flexible work schedules and sign-on bonuses.
“Through our Career Day events, we hope to attract new team members that want to evolve their career and will take advantage of this new benefit program,” Oates-Forney said.