Target Joins Walmart in Paying Employees’ College Tuition

Target joins a growing list of retailers that will cover 100% of college tuition and textbooks for its U.S.-based part-time and full-time employees.

The Target Corporation has announced that it would pay the full cost of college tuition and textbook expenses for its U.S.-based part-time and full-time employees. The announcement comes just weeks after Walmart declared its plan for education benefits.

The retail giant hopes its expanded benefits will attract and retain talent in a tight job market. More than 340,000 Target employees will be able to choose from approximately 250 programs at more than 40 schools and universities across the country.

“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,” Melissa Kremer, chief human resources officer at Target, said in a statement. “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 will also pay up to $5,250 annually for sub-master’s degrees and up to $10,000 for master’s degrees each year. The new education assistance benefit is part of Target Forward, a new corporate strategy that was unveiled earlier this summer.

The latest moves by major companies — first by Walmart and then by Target — highlight just how competitive the labor market has become as the economy continues to rebound from the pandemic. There are a variety of reasons why employers are struggling to hire workers — inadequate compensation, tough working conditions or lingering concerns about Covid-19 — but Target’s $200 million education investment over the next four years is poised to help bring talent to the company.

Image source: Consumer Affairs