Amid intensifying competition for workers, Target on Wednesday announced it was significantly increasing the amount it offers its part-time and full-time workers for educational courses.
The Minneapolis retailer says it will invest $200 million over the next four years into its "debt-free education assistance program."
Target will pay entirely for access to 250 business-aligned programs from over 40 schools, colleges and universities," as well as high school completion, college prep, and English language learning courses.
If any worker wants to attend a course outside of this initiative, Target will pay up to $5,250-a-year for non-master's programs and $10,000-a-year for master's degrees to the academic institution of the employee's choice.
The move comes a week after its biggest competitor, Walmart, announced it would pay 100% of its employees' college tuitions.
Workers at Target's stores, distributions, and Minneapolis headquarters will all be eligible for the expanded program from this fall.
"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," said Target chief HR officer Melissa Kremer. "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."
As the Star Tribune notes, Target had previously offered up to $3,000 towards undergrad, $4,000 for graduate, and $5,200 for MBA programs.