Lowe’s Companies Inc. makes it easy for full-time and part-time associates to continue their education.
The home improvement giant is partnering with upskilling technology platform Guild to deliver a new benefit that gives more than 300,000 eligible full-time and part-time associates access to 100% debt-free programs. The free programs are designed to help associates build careers with Lowe’s, including areas of study such as supply chain, logistics, data analytics, cybersecurity and technology.
Lowe’s new education program offers debt-free tuition assistance to associates seeking undergraduate certificates or degrees, or enrolling in graduate English language learning programs. high school or college prep. Programs include flexible lessons that accommodate different schedules, fully covered textbooks and course fees, and one-on-one support from Guild coaches.
Through the program, Lowe’s offers more than 50 academic programs at 23 universities and training providers in Guild’s learning market, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). Academic partners in the Guild program include the University of Arizona – a Hispanic-serving institution – and HBCUs such as Morehouse College, North Carolina A&T State University, and Paul Quinn College.
Additionally, Lowe’s offers a long-standing tuition reimbursement program, which reimburses associates up to $2,500 per year in tuition fees. Lowe’s also continues to offer “Track to the Trades,” a company-funded pre-apprenticeship certificate program to help up to 4,000 part-time and full-time associates pursue careers in the skilled trades each year.
Lowe’s covers 100% of tuition for Track to the Trade degrees in HVAC, Solar, Commercial HVAC, Appliance Repair, Multifamily Facilities Management, Electrical, and Plumbing.
Other Tier 1 retailers also offer comprehensive employee tuition reimbursement/assistance programs. Chef Lowe’s rival, The Home Depot, who pledged $50 million to train 20,000 tradespeople over the next 10 years in 2018, building on this effort in December 2020 with an education and job placement program called Path to Pro. Path to Pro aims to educate more people in the skilled trades, connect skilled trades to jobs and careers, and generate interest in business professions through educational campaigns.
Additionally, Amazon launched its Career Choice initiative to help employees pursue continuing education in 2012 and March 2022. has partnered with more than 140 national and local universities to provide fully funded tuition as part of a $1.2 billion commitment.
Other examples include Starbucks, which began offering free college education to workers in 2014; and Walmart, which in July 2021 said it would pay 100% of tuition and books for employees under its Live Better U (LBU) education program. Walmart has been constantly expanding on the program, launched in 2018.
“At Lowe’s, we believe that greater access to education leads to more opportunity, and our success is closely tied to the success of our associates and their ability to continuously learn,” said Janice Dupré, vice- Lowe’s Executive HR President. “We actively listen to our associates to identify how we can help them in the many facets of their lives. This debt-free education offering is one of the many ways we work to help our associates reach their career potential while overturning the traditional obstacles that often make it difficult to obtain a degree.”
“With the ongoing war for talent, investing in employees is more critical than ever,” said Rachel Carlson, CEO and co-founder of Guild. “By providing debt-free education and training, Lowe’s extends its long-term, strategic commitment to providing the career paths, skills and support every worker needs to open the doors to their dreams.”