CHARLOTTE – Amazon selected the University of North Carolina Charlotte for the company’s “Career Choice” program, the university announced today.

The program will provide hourly employees of Amazon fully-funded tuition for any of the institution’s 171 bachelor’s degrees programs across 77 areas of study, UNC Charlotte noted in a statement shared with WRAL TechWire on Thursday.

“As Amazon’s select university partner in this region, we provide accessible, affordable, quality higher education to help upskill the local workforce and meet North Carolina’s evolving employment needs,” said UNC Charlotte Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber in the statement. “Charlotte is uniquely positioned to provide flexible higher education options that meet the demands of today’s working adults and drive even more economic growth, opportunity and success.”

Amazon is growing its presence across the state of North Carolina, employing more than 27,000 across the state, with more on the way as the company has announced two projects in Cumberland County, a project in Johnston County, and a project in both Cary and Garner in the last year.

Like kudzu, Amazon rapidly growing its presence across North Carolina

Transferring students included

According to the statement from UNC Charlotte, any student that is transferring to the institution from Amazon’s community college partners—which includes Central Piedmont Community College, Rowan Cabarrus Community College and Wake Technical Community College—may also be eligible to receive or could continue to receive Amazon’s employee tuition benefit.

This partnership between the company and the institution of higher education could strengthen a growing, vibrant city economy, according to Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles.

“UNC Charlotte and Amazon both contribute significantly to the economic vitality of our city,” said Lyles. “We are fortunate that these two powerhouses are partnering together in efforts to train, educate and expand the workforce in the Charlotte region and North Carolina.”

According to Amazon, its Career Choice program is part of the company’s “Upskilling 2025” pledge, described as “a $1.2 billion commitment to upskill more than 300,000 Amazon employees by 2025″ in today’s statement.

“We’re committed to empowering our employees by providing them access to the education and training they need to grow their careers, whether that’s with us or elsewhere,” said Tammy Thieman, global program lead of Amazon’s Career Choice program.  “We have intentionally cultivated a partner network of third-party educators and employers committed to providing excellent education, job placement resources, and continuous improvements to the experience.

Amazon announced that it would close its “4-star” stores earlier this week.

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