Target Launches Debt-Free Education for Frontline Workers

Target Corp said on Wednesday it will invest $200 million over the next four years to offer its more than 340,000 U.S.-based part-time and full-time frontline workers debt-free assistance for select undergraduate degrees and certificates.

The move comes at a time when employers in the United States are introducing benefits and raising wages as they struggle to find and keep enough workers, particularly in retail and restaurants.

Target’s rival Walmart Inc said last month it would pay the full cost of college tuition and books for its roughly 1.5 million full and part-time employees, effective Aug. 16.

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Target also said its frontline workers at stores, distribution centers, and headquarters could choose from 250 business programs at over 40 institutions, including University of Arizona and Oregon State University.

For workers pursuing courses outside the select degrees in the program it has built with upskilling platform Guild Education, Target will provide direct payments of up to $5,250 for non-master’s degrees to academic institutions and up to $10,000 for master’s degrees each year.

Target last year raised its starting wage for U.S. team members to $15 per hour.