Education in the Service Sector
This August, the Path Forward Coalition is highlighting education programs provided by the service sector that enable employees to support their growth and development.
Many restaurant and retail businesses offer a number of educational benefits, including:
- Tuition assistance
- Scholarships and grants
- Vocational training
- Undergraduate and graduate programs
- Partnerships with educational institutions
In addition, the National Restaurant Association and the National Retail Federation provide a number of educational opportunities for students and employees in the service industry:
- The National Retail Federation partners with dozens of colleges and universities across the United States to promote careers in retail. NRF collaborates with the University of Phoenix to offer the Dream BIG Scholarship to retail employees who want to enhance their careers through additional education. Other NRF scholarships include the Next Generation Scholarship, the Rising Stars Scholarship and the Ray Greenly Scholarship for entrepreneurial studies.
- The National Restaurant Association established the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) to further the education of students focusing on a restaurant and hospitality curriculum. ProStart, a two-year career and technical education program offered by the NRAEF, teaches culinary arts and restaurant management skills. Students can also earn money to finance their education for a diverse range of career paths in the restaurant industry through scholarships offered by the NRAEF, such as the Robert E. Rich Aspiring Entrepreneurs Scholarship and the Unipro Scholarship Fund.
Below is a list of examples of restaurant and retail businesses that offer various types of education benefits. These examples represent just a few of the many and varied programs available to help employees advance their education. Follow the links to learn more about these benefits.
Best Buy: Partners with select universities to offer tuition discounts, special scholarship opportunities and reduced fees to employees and immediate family members
Burger King: Awards millions of dollars in scholarships each year through the Foundation’s Burger King Scholars program and the BK Family Fund
Chick-fil-A: Provides $1.6 million annually to help employees attend the college of their choice
Dick’s Drive-In: Administers up to $25,000 in college or vocational scholarships to employees who work 20 hours per week for at least six weeks and while attending school
Gap Inc.: Assists employees with tuition costs via its Tuition Reimbursement Program
The Home Depot: Covers 50% of tuition, books and reasonable class registration fees for approved course(s), and 50% of mandatory fees up to $250 per semester/quarter
KFC: Provides tuition assistance via grants of $2,000 and $2,500 through the REACH Educational Grant Program
Lowe’s: Offers in-depth continued education through its Certified Professional Education (CPE) program, scholarships and tuition reimbursement
McDonald’s: Helps employees further their education, create an education plan, or improve their English skills through Archways to Opportunity
Taco Bell: Provides education programs to help employees earn a high school diploma, GED®, Associate’s, Bachelor’s or graduate degree, and extends $120,000 in scholarships annually
Walmart: Grants college credit transferable to 2,000+ universities through the Walmart College Track program, and awards Walmart Foundation scholarships to associates and dependents
Wawa: Helps reduce education costs with a Loan Forgiveness initiative and partners with select schools offering additional education benefits via its Educational Preferred Partnership Program