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Great Support from TARGET and WALMART! The Cover University Costs!

Great Support from TARGET and WALMART! The Cover University Costs!

Target is ramping up the heat in its competition with Walmart to attract and retain workers in a tightening labor market.

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Target is launching an education assistance program to help frontline team members get a debt-free education, according to a press release released Wednesday. Beginning this fall, more than 340,000 part-time and full-time employees at Target stores, distribution centers, and headquarters locations in the US will be eligible to take part in the venture.

Workers can obtain loan-free assistance for certain bachelor's degrees,un certificates, and certifications, as well as free textbooks. Target says workers will have no out-of-pocket costs and will be eligible for training benefits starting their first day of work.

The retailer will spend $200 million over the next four years on the program, developed in collaboration with skills development platform Guild Education. Target competitor Walmart also works with Guild Education for its worker training program.

The company said in the publication that through the program, Target employees will be able to take "high school completion, college preparation, English language learning, and certain certifications, certifications, boot camps, associate's and bachelor's degrees." They can choose from 250 business-oriented programs from more than 40 schools, colleges, and universities. Institutions include the University of Arizona, eCornell, Oregon State University, and HBCUs Morehouse College and Paul Quinn College.

The target will assist workers who are taking classes outside of the Guild network's elite programs. In these cases, the company will pay these workers up to $5,250 for non-master's degrees and up to $10,000 for master's degrees each year.

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Target said in a statement that the program was "the most comprehensive debt-free education assistance program available in the retail industry" and criticized rival Walmart, which recently announced the news about its training initiative for workers.

Walmart said last week that it would cover 100% of tuition and book costs for workers. The change eliminated the $1 per day fee paid by workers in Walmart's Live Better U training program to cover their coursework and books. Roughly 1.5 million Walmart and Sam's Club employees can benefit from the company's program, which launched in 2018.

Announcements about Target's and Walmart's educational assistance programs come as companies compete with each other to attract staff due to the low number of job applicants in the retail industry. In the current labor shortage, many retail workers are also leaving their jobs on low wages, while others are using the situation to negotiate better wages and benefits.

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