“At Amazon, we like to pioneer, we like to invent, and we’re not willing to do things the normal way if we can figure out a better way,” writes Jeff Bezos in a letter to customers that currently inhabits the home page of the online retailer. The Amazon Career Choice Program encourages employees who’ve been with the company for three years to invest in vocational training, regardless of whether these skills are related to Amazon’s own business or not. “It can be difficult in this economy to have the flexibility and financial resources to teach yourself new skills,” Bezos continues, describing the program as focusing entirely on areas that are “well-paying and in high demand.”
I thought it was bold of Bezos to call out innovation within the company’s fulfillment centers at the top of his letter. That is an area that’s been the subject of criticism in the past, notably in a devastating piece published in The Morning Call. The message here is that top brass aren’t worried about that, and continuing to do things its own way. We all know that education in the United States is in a terrible state, and doing something constructive is the only way to emerge from the economic crisis with any hope at all. So while in-house tuition programs are hardly new, this is certainly an interesting model, and one to monitor.
[Story via Alex Kinnebrew]