Taco Bell is launching a pilot program that will offer tuition assistance to all of its employees.
Taco Bell announced it is partnering with Guild Education to launch a pilot program offering financial assistance to all of its employees. The company currently employs 210,000 people in 7,000 restaurants across the United States.
This pilot program will give employees discounted tuition on all of the classes and degrees that Guild has to offer. This means employees will have access to 80 online learning providers and can earn their GED, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. Employees will also be able to work with Guild’s college advisors, academic coaches, and financial advisors.
Frank Tucker, Taco Bell’s Global Chief People Officer, said that the company found overwhelmingly that their employees want education support. Tucker said this is because many employees lacked the time and resources to pursue higher education.
Taco Bell will give each employee up to $5,250 a year in tuition assistance. Employees will also have the opportunity to earn college credits from on-the-job training, saving them another $5,000 a year.
This is not the first pilot program the restaurant chain has launched with Guild Education. In 2017, over 2,000 Taco Bell employees were given the chance to work with a Guild coach and look into going back to school.
In 2016, Taco Bell launched “Start With Us, Stay With Us,” a plan aimed at creating 100,000 new jobs by 2022. Taco Bell will open 250 new restaurants in the U.S. alone, and the company says that its partnership with Guild is a crucial part of that effort.
The company sees this as an opportunity to recruit top talent to work at Taco Bell, Bjorn Erland, vice president of people and experience, told Fox Business. And so far, the efforts seem to be paying off; employees who enrolled in a course through Guild had a retention rate of 98 percent.
As the price of higher education continues to go up, many companies are recognizing the benefits of offering tuition assistance programs to their employees. Companies that provide tuition assistance are helping those employees build important skillsets and often see lower rates of employee turnover. Taco Bell isn’t the only one with the bright idea.
Starbucks partnered with Arizona State University to offer part-time and full-time employees full tuition reimbursement to pursue a bachelor’s degree. And Verizon employees are eligible for up to $8,000 in tuition assistance per year.
College is expensive, but earning a degree provides numerous benefits. Earning a college degree can open up more job opportunities. And studies have shown that college graduates will earn more money throughout their career than individuals with a high school diploma.
For many consumers, finding a part-time job that offers tuition assistance could help lessen those costs and provide an easier pathway to higher education.