In the Puget Sound region, we offer a variety of upskilling programs to hourly and corporate employees. These programs include access to pre-paid tuition and industry certifications, apprenticeships, and leadership development courses/trainings. Learn more about the work we do to upskill, educate, and support career growth for our local employees, and how they’re being trained for the jobs of the future.
Career Choice, our largest upskilling program globally, offers eligible employees access to pre-paid college tuition, foundational programs like English language classes and high school diplomas/GEDs, programs to earn industry certifications, and career support. The goal of Career Choice is to offer employees the programs and resources needed to grow their careers at Amazon or elsewhere.
In the Puget Sound region, this program has helped nearly 2,000 employees earn degrees, refine their skills, or grow professionally. In the area, we currently have a local education partner network that includes 16 Washington state community colleges, colleges, and universities, in addition to our national partners. The diversity of our partner network ensures we offer a variety of programs and classes for employees. Participants can take classes in person or virtually, depending on their needs and preferences.
A. Highline College
B. Bellevue College
C. City University of Seattle
D. Green River Community College
E. North Seattle College
F. Renton Technical College
G. Tacoma Community College
H. Washington State University – Everett
I. University of Washington – Tacoma
J. Evergreen State College
K. South Puget Sound Community College
To date, the program has seen great success in the area, with 64% of Puget Sound Career Choice participants leveraging pre-paid tuition for college courses. The technology pathway is the most popular, offering employees industry certifications in roles tied to IT, cybersecurity, and more.
Amazon offers a variety of paid apprenticeships that enable Amazon employees without the technical experience to learn skills and move into a new career. Our paid apprenticeship programs offer on-the-job training and classroom learning in technical and non-technical roles, including user design and experience, hardware, or robotics.
For Amazon’s Technical Apprenticeship Program, once the apprenticeship is completed, participants are placed into full-time roles like software development engineers, network development engineers, or cloud support engineers. Locally, we’ve had nearly 600 apprentices since the program launched in 2017, with a job-placement rate averaging nearly 75%.
“Before Amazon, I was a K-12 educator, and was looking to transition into a career in tech. I had heard great things about Amazon’s apprenticeship program. While my apprenticeship was as a software development engineer on the Alexa team, I really enjoyed planning the execution of my projects, and that helped me realized I wanted to go into program management,” said Annie Pineda, an Amazon employee based in Seattle. “Today, I am a program manager in the Inclusive eXperiences and Technology Communities team, and am moving into a new role as the Global Latino Affairs Office Lead.”
As part of our Career Choice program, we offer eligible employees access to career coaching, starting on day one of their employment. This program allows employees access to a professional resource to guide them on goal-setting, finding the right programs, or identifying the skills needed to grow their careers. Our career coaches offer insights into the best programs and classes available through our global education network of nearly 400 community colleges, colleges, universities, HBCUs, training providers, and third-party partners.
When Robelynn Suarez wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her career, she decided to connect with someone who could offer her insights into her career options at Amazon, and provide guidance on what programs or trainings would make the most sense for her based on her career goals.
“It was hard for me to decide what program I wanted to go into, so I decided to talk to a Career Choice coach to get advice on what next steps to take,” she said. “The coach I’ve been working with has helped me research schools and helped me realize my passion. I enjoy working with people and making sure that everyone has a great candidate experience.”
Robelynn is currently an associate on the Human Resources Workforce Staffing team based in Seattle, and hopes to pursue a certification in human resource management.
To date, we have had 30,000 employees participate in Career Choice’s coaching service, with hundreds of them being local to the area.
In addition to our upskilling programs, we offer a variety of leadership-development trainings for employees. This year, we launched a new program called Catalyst, which develops recent graduates into area managers at Amazon’s network of fulfillment centers—from their acceptance of an offer through their first year in leadership roles. The program offers mentorship, behind-the-scenes facility tours, and peer networking, plus leadership-development classes and professional training. In the Puget Sound region, we currently have multiple employees going through the program at sites in Washington cities Kent and Lacey.
At our operations sites in the region, we also offer an onboarding program called Leadership Liftoff, which provides training in areas like giving and receiving feedback, supporting employee development, and situational leadership for new managers.
These are just some of the ways Amazon is investing in leadership development, career advancement, manager trainings, and skills training in the Puget Sound region, and how we are committed to the growth, development, and education of our employees.