Far out Friday: CEO to pay college fees for employees’ kids

The philanthropic leader says it’s about building a long-term plan and investing in committed employees.

Far out Friday: CEO to pay college fees for employees’ kids
rsquo;re used to hearing about the weird and wonderful perks different companies offer but one New York-based CEO seems to have topped the lot with his latest offering.

Chieh Huang, boss of tech-company Boxed, has pledged to pay the college tuition fees for the children of his employees and plans to launch a not-for-profit foundation specifically for the project.

“We’re building a long-term business and if you are along for the ride, we are going to invest in you,” Huang told his employees.

The philanthropic CEO has already sunk US$1 million into the foundation in the form of shares and bonds but not content with his own contributions, Huang has begun urging affiliated businesses to do the same.

Boxed currently employs approximately 100 staff – the majority of which work in the warehouses or in the delivery sector – but the pay disparity between tech execs and blue-collar employees hasn’t escaped him.

“Not all folks are equally fortunate,” he observes. “Why is it that someone makes a few bucks an hour and some tech execs make hundreds of millions of dollars?”

Huang himself was raised in a modest environment, having been born to Taiwanese immigrant parents but managed to secure places at prestigious colleges before founding two highly successful companies.

The John Hopkins University and Fordham Law School graduate cites education as “the core” facilitator for success and wants to help others succeed too.

“If nothing much changes, those families will still be in lower income jobs without access to upward mobility two or three generations from now,” he explains.

Unsurprisingly, the initiative has gone down well with employees – “Nothing has given me more incentive to stay with the company than knowing that I could have major help in funding my kids' education,” says Boxed worker David Taft. “I’m just blown away by this benefit,” he added.

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