This grocery chain is investing $5M in tuition assistance

Wegmans has been rewarding staff members for years, not with one-off cash incentives but scholarship grants

This grocery chain is investing $5M in tuition assistance

Grocery store workers are among those on the forefront of the COVID-19 battle – and employers across regions have been quick to repay their dedication with pandemic bonuses and wage hikes for the past two months.

But one supermarket chain has been rewarding staff members for years, not with one-off cash incentives but scholarship grants.

READ MORE: Retailer thanks staff with $750 bonus amid COVID-19 crisis

Wegmans Food Markets, a regional grocer that grew out of Rochester, New York, will again pave the way for employees to pursue a college degree. The company plans to invest US$5m into a tuition assistance program to help more than 1,800 working students throughout academic year 2020-2021.

“This scholarship program helps our people pursue higher education and grow their career,” said Colleen Wegman, president and CEO of Wegmans.

The company provides tuition assistance of up to $1,500 per year for a four-year degree to part-time staff members and up to $2,200 per year for the same period of study to full-time employees. Scholars can also choose their college program from any of the company’s educational partners.

Since 1984, Wegmans has invested a total of $120m in scholarship grants – more than 38,000 workers have graduated from college thanks to the program.

READ MORE: 100,000 frontliners to get 'pandemic bonus'

But supporting workers in their education this year also comes at a bittersweet time for the company. “With many graduations cancelled or postponed this year, we feel it is particularly important to congratulate this year’s scholarship recipients, and all 2020 graduates,” Wegman said.

The supermarket chain is also rewarding staff members – who are graduating in June – with a gift, along with a certificate to celebrate this milestone.

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