CVHEC-member Bakersfield College is among more than 140 national and local universities selected by Amazon for a new program that offers its 750,000 hourly employees in the U.S. fully-funded college tuition.
Amazon’s announcement March 3 is part of the company’s ongoing enhancements to Career Choice – an upskilling program designed to help frontline employees grow their skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere.
Bakersfield College is one of the nation’s oldest continually-operating community colleges, serving approximately 30,000 students annually on the 153-acre main campus in northeast Bakersfield and at multiple community and rural locations. Amazon is also partnering with GEDWorks and Smart Horizons to provide employees with free high school completion and GED preparation, Voxy EnGen and goFLUENT to provide English language proficiency training, and Outlier to provide college preparation courses – all for free.
Bakersfield College Interim President Zav Dadabhoy said he is thrilled to have this opportunity available for Amazon’s local workforce.
“Bakersfield College is here to support our entire community in many different ways,” Dr. Dadabhoy said. “While most students seek a college degree or certificate, many can improve their careers and earning potential through building skills that develop and ensure secure futures.”
He said through Amazon’s Career Choice Program, BC’s students will have the foundational support of steady employment while also working towards their personal academic goals: “All of us at Bakersfield College are thrilled to see the growing presence of Amazon in our community and look forward to a long and productive collaboration.”
As a champion of higher education, Bakersfield College’s expansive list of vocational, technical, and career-driven programs has captured attention statewide.
In 2015, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office announced their selection of BC as one of 15 California colleges to pilot a four-year baccalaureate degree program in Industrial Automation. In May 2018, BC conferred its first BS degrees to the inaugural class and today, one of those initial graduates is employed by Amazon as a Senior Maintenance Manager, here in Kern County.
“Since its founding in 1913, Bakersfield College has been committed to expanding the skilled workforce of Kern County,” said Dr. Sonya Christian, chancellor of the Kern Community College District. “I am beyond proud of BC’s faculty and staff who continue to create pathways and forge innovative partnerships like this one with the Amazon Career Choice Program and by offering employees the opportunity to grow their skills for in-demand jobs of the future, Amazon is positively contributing to the overall wellness and success of Kern County and our community.”
For more information on Bakersfield College’s Career Choice Program, visit: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/adult-education/amazon-career-choice-program.
See: Bakersfield College press release with additional information about Amazon’s educational programs and jobs.