Amazon scuttled its plans to build its massive HQ2 campus in Long Island City just over three years ago, but the e-commerce giant and its relationship with LaGuardia Community College endures.
LaGuardia is part of a new partnership between CUNY and Amazon that allows the company’s hourly employees to attend college to further their career opportunities. Through Amazon’s Career Choice program, the company began providing an annual benefit covering tuition and selected fees for all qualifying hourly employees enrolled in an associate degree program at LaGuardia Community College.
“LaGuardia is ready to help hourly employees at Amazon earn college degrees,” LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams said. “Employees who enroll at LaGuardia will have many on-campus and online courses to choose from to accommodate their work schedules and will have access to our robust advising teams, library services, tutoring centers and support programs that help students get over the finish line. Our gratitude to Amazon for including LaGuardia in this promising partnership, which will benefit both Amazon employees and their families.”
Through this collaboration, New York City-based Amazon workers will have access to over 500 associate and bachelor’s CUNY degree programs — including 50 at LaGuardia — in-demand fields such as STEM, healthcare, and green energy. This initial cohort of CUNY colleges represents a footprint in each borough to provide locations in physical proximity to Amazon operations. LaGuardia is near several Amazon facilities including the Amazon Fresh warehouse in Maspeth.
“At Amazon, 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 Carly Graham Garcia, head of community Affairs at Amazon in New York. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with CUNY on our CareerChoice program to give our employees access to pursue the education path that fits their passions. Whether employees are looking to finish their bachelor’s degree at CUNY or build on foundational skills of English proficiency or GED preparation with our national partners, we’re prepared to meet our employees wherever they are on their educational journey.”
Starting with a focus on associate and bachelor’s degrees, the initiative is open to Amazon hourly employees who enroll in any major at eight CUNY colleges in all five boroughs. CUNY’s partnership, the first for Amazon in New York State, is part of a national commitment by Amazon to provide educational and upskilling opportunities to more than 750,000 hourly employees at four national and more than 140 local universities and colleges.
“This important partnership is a powerful example of how the private sector can join forces with the City University of New York to advance workers’ education, promote economic mobility and help rebuild New York City’s post-pandemic economy all at the same time,” CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodriguez said. “We thank Amazon for its commitment to higher education for its employees and look forward to working with them while expanding CUNY’s role as one of the nation’s premiere engines of economic opportunity.”
For more information about CUNY Career Success Initiatives, visit www.cuny.edu/about/administration/offices/workforce.