Aug 4, 2021 - Economy

Target to offer debt-free education aid for over 340,000 workers

Photo of a Target employee crouching in an aisle while a cart filled with shoes is nearby

Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Target announced Wednesday plans to offer debt-free education assistance to more than 340,000 of its front-line workers.

Why it matters: Americans owe $1.6 trillion in student loans.

Details: The aid will cover select undergraduate degrees and certificates, tuition assistance supplies and other out-of-pocket expenses at no cost to workers.

  • The policy, which applies to all U.S. part-time and full-time team members, will include 250 business-aligned programs from over 40 schools, colleges and universities.
  • Target will also pay up to $10,000 per year for master’s degrees. The company plans to invest $200 million in the program, which will take effect this fall, over the next four years.
  • The move aims to "eliminate student debt and promote equitable access to education for its team as part of Target Forward sustainability strategy."

What they're saying: "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," Melissa Kremer, Target's chief human resources officer, said in a statement.

Yes, but: The company faced protests from workers over COVID-related safety concerns and low wages.

  • "We’re trying to lead the way in showing that there’s an alternative here where we don’t have to choose between sacrificing our lives for a paycheck that isn’t going to cover our medical expenses or our funeral expenses if we catch this virus or die from it," Adam Ryan, a Target employee who participated in a nationwide strike last year, told CNBC.
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