According to a press release from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the company plans to send its workers to college – for free.
The move comes a month after Starbucks expanded its online college degree program with Arizona State University, allowing its baristas to study for four years for free. Chrysler also joins McDonald’s, which earlier this year offered to help pay college tuition for workers at its 14,300 U.S. stores.
Chrysler’s program is the result of a partnership with Strayer University, a private, for-profit college that offers online classes. The company said it hopes the free tuition will transform it into a more attractive place to work.
“Our goal is to position our dealer network as the ‘employers of choice,’” Al Gardner, the Chrysler brand’s chief executive, said. “Our collaboration with Strayer demonstrates our focus on building our dealers’ hard-working employees’ skill sets to help them perform at an optimal level while also investing in their long-term success.”
Employees can take Strayer classes online or they can also attend the college’s Virginia campus or one of its 76 satellite campuses, mostly around the Southern United States.
Chrysler isn’t the only automaker giving its employees a boost. Volkswagen is expanding a three-year vocational program at its Chattanooga, Tennessee-based plant that trains employees to work high-skilled jobs on the assembly line. The German company based the course on apprenticeship programs in its home country.