LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A new program covers 100% of employee tuition at select amusement parks, including Kentucky Kingdom.
The Louisville amusement park is owned by Herschend Enterprises, which recently launched the Grow U program, which aims to “make it exponentially easier for employees at all levels to pursue their personal and professional dreams through education.” according to a press release.
Through the Guild Education Learning Marletseasonal, part-time, and full-time employees can take courses in areas such as business administration and leadership, cooking, finance, technology, and marketing.
The program will also cover other costs and books for employees.
Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay general manager Sarah Worrell says that even if an employee opts for a major that is not considered directly beneficial to a career at the park, partial tuition coverage would still be offered.
“It’s just another thing we can do to help employees find their passion,” Worrell said. “We want to make sure people have the opportunity to grow and improve in whatever they want to do.”
Sales Manager Carlow Uglow is in her 9th season working with the park. She says she is glad the program is open to all employees as it will allow her to return to school for her MBA.
“It’s a bit of a risky leap to make this decision on your own, mainly for the financial commitment and also the time commitment. For the Kingdom of Kentucky, it’s a huge relief,” Uglow said. “I never imagined it would be something I could participate in.”
The colleges that will participate in the program are still being decided.
Worrell says that as long as an employee commits to returning for at least one season, they would be eligible for financial assistance.
“There is no obligation for them to stay after graduation. Some people start working at the park on day one and will continue for 20 to 30 years, and some people will stay just for a summer or two. In the either facet, we want to help a person be successful in whatever they want to do,” Worrell said.
Worrell says once an employee graduates, they are not required to refund any money or continue working at the park.
“You can just keep doing what you want to do and we’ll just be grateful for the time we’ve had you here,” Worrell said. “Education is key and the more you can learn, the more you can grow and the better you will do.”
Park officials say they hope the new incentive will drive more applicants seeking positions with the company.
“It’s really hard to hire right now and there are so many good jobs available for people, so we want to be as competitive as possible,” Worrell said.
Kentucky Kingdom workers will also have access to professional coaches throughout their school career.
The park, which recently announced a pay rise among other employee benefits, is organize a job fair on Saturday12 February.
The park is looking to hire hundreds of employees across twenty departments, including customer-facing and back-of-house roles.
To complete an application, click here. You must be at least 16 years old.
Herschend Enterprises also operates Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and Newport Aquarium.
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