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Amazon is helping employees get another, unrelated job

The retail giant launches an employment incentive program that pays for employee career training in certain high-demand but unrelated fields like nursing or aircraft mechanics.


Amazon will pay for employee job training, even if it means its employees will work somewhere else as a result.

The company launched a new employee incentive program that's sure to attract out-of-work Americans who want vocational training to boost their careers.

Amazon will pay 95 percent of tuition and fees at accredited schools for courses that lead to technical and vocational certifications or associate's degrees in fields like aircraft mechanics, computer-aided design, machine tool technologies, medical lab technologies, and nursing. Only full-time hourly associates in the U.S. who have been employed for three consecutive years are eligible.

"Like many of our innovations at Amazon, the Career Choice Program is an experiment. We're excited about it and hope it will pay big dividends for some of our employees," according to a letter to its customers Amazon posted on its home page today. This is one innovation that we hope other companies in this economy will copy."

The program will only pay for fields that are considered "well-paying and in high demand," according to the letter, which cites the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as a marker for which jobs make the cut. Amazon said the company will fund the training "regardless of whether those skills are relevant to a career at Amazon."

It's an innovative move from a company that has been dinged in the past for what some have called sweatshop-like conditions. We have a message into Amazon for more information about why the company has launched the program, and we'll update if we get more information.