While Disney’s hourly employees (especially those at its theme parks and resorts) have criticized the long hours and low pay they receive, Disney’s new corporate initiative is hoping to change the attitude.
Earlier last week, Disney launched Disney Aspire, a new program that is offering hourly employees a ‘wide array of disciplines and diplomas – with tuition paid upfront.’ It’s being powered by an initial $50 million investment that CEO Bob Iger announced at the beginning of the year. “I have always believed that education is the key to opportunity,” he said. “It opens doors and creates new possibilities.”
There are over 80,000 hourly employees at Disney in the United States who will now get immediate access through an organization called Guild Education to education to better themselves and grow in their careers inside and outside of Disney. Some of the program offered include college and master’s degrees, high school equivalency, English-language learning, vocational training and more.
Disney will continue to monitor the progress of the program and hopes to change the program over time with feedback from participants. With a yearly multi-million dollar investment coming, Disney hopes that it would fuel interest working for the company.
“In terms of what employees and Cast Members will achieve with that—all I can say is the sky’s the limit!,” said Jayne Parker, senior executive vice president & chief HR officer for The Walt Disney Company.
Verified hourly employees can sign up and learn more via the official Disney Aspire website.