Merit America, Amazon Partner to Upskill Fulfillment Workers
America has partnered with Amazon's ambitious Career Choice initiative
that will help hourly employees prepare for IT career opportunities.
Associates in Amazon Fulfillment Centers in the Dallas-Fort Worth and
Baltimore areas are now eligible to participate in Merit America's
unique training programs, which pair job-focused online learning with
intensive career coaching and mentorship. During the COVID-19 pandemic,
Merit America is now offering entirely virtual programming in order to
continue providing Career Choice learners with both skills training and
job readiness support.
"Merit America gave me a unique opportunity to launch an IT career on a
flexible schedule. It was a life-changer for me," said Phi Nguyen,
graduate of Merit America and participant in Amazon Career Choice. "I
believe this program will benefit so many skilled individuals without
college degrees in the years to come."
According to a recent study published in the National Bureau of Economic
Research, more than 70 million Americans without college degrees have
the skills they need to succeed in higher compensation jobs, but are
often overlooked because they lack credentials employers rely on when
making hiring decisions. So-called middle-skill workers are often the
first displaced by economic downturns like that caused by the pandemic,
and the last to benefit from wage gains during periods of economic
The partnership with Merit America is designed to help break down
barriers often faced by middle-skill workers to in-demand, competitive
wage roles in disciplines like Java programming and IT support.
Choice is an innovative program uniquely designed to upskill our
employees who are interested in pursuing new careers in emerging fields.
By delivering training in high-demand career paths, we are proud to give
eligible employees the tools they need to make a move and pursue their
career aspirations beyond Amazon," said Tammy Thieman, global program
lead for Amazon Career Choice. "Merit America's ability to offer
upskilling and mentorship, as well as their rapid and responsive
implementation of virtual programs during the pandemic, helps create
pathways to economic mobility for hundreds of thousands of Americans."
Founded in 2018, Merit America works with major employers to build new
pathways to upwardly mobile careers for Americans without college
degrees. In the weeks since social distancing measures have taken
effect, Merit America has adapted all of its programs to continue
serving working learners through an all-online model that incorporates
both academic support and personalized coaching.
"The mass displacement of workers that has resulted from the pandemic
represents an unprecedented opportunity -- and responsibility -- to
reimagine training and hiring, and ensure that the most vulnerable
Americans don't get left behind," said Rebecca Taber, Founder and co-CEO
of Merit America. "This program reflects Amazon's commitment to
investing in its people -- in ways that can not only close critical
near-term skill gaps, but also create opportunities for their employees
in the long term."