Retail giant Target announced today aimed at providing debt-free education assistance for its U.S.-based frontline workers, encompassing more than 340,000 part-time and full-time employees. Target said that it will invest $200 million in the program over the next four years.

The new initiative is being launched following the recent introduction of the company’s sustainability strategy, Target Forward. The company stated that the new education assistance program is part of Target Forward, which includes goals to create an equitable and inclusive workforce.

Melissa Kremer, Target’s Chief Human Resources Officer, said:

“Target employs team members at every life stage and helps our team learn, develop and build their skills, whether they’re with us for a year or a career. A significant number of our hourly team members build their careers at Target, and we know many would like to pursue additional education opportunities. We don’t want the cost to be a barrier for anyone, and that’s where Target can step in to make education accessible for everyone.”

Target developed its program with education and upskilling platform Guild Education. The new program offers employees several options for assistance, including support for courses for high school completion, college prep, English language learning and select certificates, certifications, bootcamps, associate and undergraduate degrees, with access to more than 40 schools, colleges and universities, and a choice of 250 business-aligned programs, with no out of pocket cost. Outside of these programs, Target will provide direct payments of up to $5,250 for employees pursuing non-master’s degrees and up to $10,000 for master’s degrees each year to education institutions in the selected network of schools. Target will also cover the costs of educational supplies, textbooks and course fees.

Kremer added:

“Our team members are the heart of Target’s strategy and success, and we have a long history of investing in industry-leading pay, extensive benefits and career opportunities to help our team thrive and have rewarding careers at Target.”

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