Disneyland might be named the “Happiest Place on Earth,” but the employees at Dollywood can make an educated claim to fame of their own.
Herschend Enterprises, partner owner of Dollywood and the nation’s largest privately owned themed attractions operations, announced on Feb 8 that it would cover 100% of tuition, fees and books for employees to pursue further education.
Considering that the popular Smoky Mountains theme park currently has 11,000 employees (including seasonal and part-time workers) that is quite a feat.
The initiative, Herschend’s GROW U., offers more than 100 programs, many that focus on high-demand fields like business administration and leadership, culinary, finance, technology and marketing. The company will also provide employees up to $5,250 per year for additional programs in fields including engineering, hospitality, art design and human resources.
Needless to say, this kind of financial support can be life-changing.
Andrew Wexler, CEO of Herschend Enterprises, defines the investment as the company’s “love culture in action.”
The CEO added, “we care about our employees' personal and professional growth, because we believe that their futures should be grown with love, not loans.”
This kind of culture really does permeate. According to CNN, employees also receive access to Dollywood Family Healthcare Center, free meals for every work shift, and apprentice and leadership programs. According to the Washington Post, other corporations such as Chipotle and Best Buy make contributions to employee education, but it's only a fraction compared to Herschend GROW U.
Breaking Good News Alert:— Goodable (@Goodable) February 9, 2022
Dolly Parton's Dollywood Parks & Resorts has announced it will pay all tuition costs, fees, and books for employees who pursue higher education.
It includes all part-time, full-time, and seasonal employees from day one on the job.
Still, the fact that this is a growing trend feels promising. With more than 36 well-known companies already helping with tuition, and now with Herschend GROW U. making headlines, perhaps compassionate corporations are becoming the new standard.
The program launches Feb 24, but is already giving us something to smile about.
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