OCC and Amazon create education partnership

November 11, 2022

Originally published in Eagle News Online on November 11, 2022.

Onondaga Community College recently announced it has been selected as an education partner for Amazon’s Career Choice program, which provides hourly employees access to pre-paid tuition to learn new skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere.

Amazon’s Career Choice program meets individual learners where they are on their education journey through a variety of education and upskilling opportunities including pre-paid college tuition, industry certifications designed to lead to in-demand jobs, and foundational skills such as English language proficiency, high school diplomas, and GED’s. In the U.S., the company is investing $1.2 billion to upskill more than 300,000 employees by 2025 to help move them into higher-paying, in-demand jobs.

Amazon’s Career Choice program has a rigorous selection process for third-party partner educators, choosing partners that are focused on helping employees through their education programs, assisting them with job placements, and overall offering education that leads to career success.

“We’re honored to be chosen as Amazon’s partner in education for success in Central New York. As the community’s college, we know the power of education and how it can transform lives and an entire region. We are looking forward to welcoming Amazon employees to our campus and providing them with educational, and ultimately career growth opportunities,” said Onondaga Community College President Dr. Warren Hilton.

“We’re proud of our growing footprint in Syracuse and Central New York and we’re even prouder to offer this program through our partnership with Onondaga Community College,” said Carley Graham Garcia, Amazon’s head of community affairs in New York. “This adds to the many benefits available to our employees in Central New York and participants will join 90,000 Amazon employees around the world who have already participated in Career Choice.”

“From day one Amazon has committed to being a true community partner and committed to investing in their employees and community at large. Their decision to select OCC as a partner for their Career Choice program is further proof of that commitment. OCC is a true community asset and I congratulate all involved on this exciting announcement,” said Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon.

“Onondaga Community College has a proven track record of public private partnerships to meet the growing workforce training and other academic needs of Central New York businesses. Amazon has made an excellent selection for its Career Choice program as it continues to grow its workforce in the 50th Senate District,” said New York State Senator John W. Mannion (SD-50).

“Amazon’s selection of Onondaga Community College for their Career Choice program is just one more way in which they have committed to our community and continue to invest in our expanding workforce. This program is highly selective and Amazon’s policy to pre-pay (not reimburse) college tuition, removes barriers for employees to increase their skills and move into much sought after careers like IT, Logistics and Software Design. Investing in people builds successful industries and I am excited to see the benefits of this remarkable partnership for our region and Central New York families,” said Assemblyman Al Stirpe, 127th District.

“Through its Career Choice program, Amazon is demonstrating its commitment to helping talent in our community prepare and grow the skills they need to advance in their careers. Onondaga Community College is a proven partner and will provide a high-quality, accessible education to people across our community. These types of forward-thinking partnerships are what enables our community to meet this moment of growth and opportunity. We are proud to offer our support and engagement to make sure that those who want to advance their skills and career can achieve their goals,” said Robert M. Simpson, president, CenterState CEO.

For more information on Amazon Career Choice at Onondaga Community College, visit sunyocc.edu/amazon-career-choice.

For more information on Amazon’s Career Choice program, visit aboutamazon.com/news/workplace/career-choice.