Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Disney launches $50 million education program for workers that pays tuition costs upfront

Posted By on Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 1:08 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA DISNEY
  • Photo via Disney
The Walt Disney Company announced Wednesday the launch of a $50 million educational program that will pay 100 percent of tuition costs upfront for more than 80,000 eligible hourly workers.

The Disney Aspire program allows domestic full-time and part-time workers who are eligible can take courses toward a high school degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree or vocational training. Disney is partnering with Guild Education, an organization that helps employers provide low-cost online education to their employees from more than 80 accredited non-profit universities across the country. Guild Education includes two different business degrees from the University of Florida's online program. Disney's program will also reimburse application fees, books and required materials.

"I have always believed that education is the key to opportunity," Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. "It opens doors and creates new possibilities."

Iger announced the initial $50 million investment into the program in January, along with news of a $1000 cash bonus for about 125,000 cast members, though that bonus was withheld from union workers.

Disney Aspire will receive additional annual investment of $25 million.

Jayne Parker, senior executive vice president and chief human resources officer for Disney, adds that cast members can choose what they study – the program or classes don't have to be tied to their current role at Disney. Workers can also leave the company after obtaining their degree without penalties.

"I am incredibly proud that Disney is embarking on this historic launch," Parker says. "I know Disney Aspire will enable employees to reach their educational goals and pursue career aspirations – including movement into new roles at Disney, as well as careers outside of the company. In terms of what employees and Cast Members will achieve with that – all I can say is the sky’s the limit!"

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 26, 2022

View more issues


© 2022 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation