Today, Amazon announced that it will partner with InStride to provide fully sponsored education programs for the 172,000 employees of its 3,000 Delivery Service Partners (DSP) through a new initiative called Next Mile.
The Next Mile for the Last Mile
The so-called “last mile” is the distance between distribution centers and individual homes and businesses where packages are delivered. Many of us are familiar with the dark blue vans emblazoned with the Amazon logo that crisscross our neighborhoods daily serving that last mile, but did you know that those van fleets are independently owned and operated by entrepreneurs across the country? These small businesses employ 172,000 drivers and team members that deliver items vital to our businesses and lives.
In recognition of the critical role these businesses play in Amazon’s success, the organization has committed to an investment of more than $19 million for education and skills training through the Next Mile program, powered by InStride. Drivers and team members from participating DSPs will have access to 1,700+ programs from InStride’s academic network, including high school completion, skills certifications, English language proficiency and associate and bachelor’s degrees.
The next evolution of Amazon’s Career Choice
Next Mile is a natural extension of Amazon’s Career Choice program, launched in 2012, which was created to help front-line employees gain new skills and advance their careers. Career Choice was expanded in January 2022 to include fully-sponsored degree programs for Amazon’s 750,000 employees in the U.S.
The Next Mile program is groundbreaking in that it marks the first time Amazon has extended a workforce education program for individuals who are not direct Amazon employees. Starting in January 2023, employees of participating DSPs can enroll in the Next Mile program to earn a high school diploma, sharpen their skills, acquire a certificate or obtain a college degree.
Next steps for DSPs
DSP owners interested in participating in the Next Mile program can get more information here and get started today!
Interested in bringing a strategic workforce education program to your organization? Connect with us today and find out how InStride can help your company and employees succeed.