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Amazon Commits to Investing Millions in Training

A person is handing an amazon box to another person.

Amazon has announced plans to retrain 100,000 workers—almost one-third of its U.S. workforce—by 2025. The more than $700 million initiative amounts to a $7,000 investment per employee. The Seattle-based company has about 275,000 full-time U.S. employees.

The company plans to expand existing training programs and introduce new ones. Amazon Technical Academy, for example, will prepare nontechnical employees with skills to move into software engineering careers. Associate2Tech will train front-line employees who fulfill customers' orders  to move into technical roles regardless of whether they have previous IT experience. Other programs will prepare employees for different roles at Amazon and for jobs in different industries. All training is voluntary.

"While many of our employees want to build their careers here, for others it might be a stepping stone to a different aspiration," said Beth Galetti, senior vice president of HR, in a July 11 statement announcing the company's Upskilling 2025 Pledge. "We think it's important to invest in our employees, and to help them gain new skills and create more professional options for themselves." 

SHRM Online has collected the following articles from its archives and other trusted sources on employers finding ways to fill the so-called skills gap and prepare employees for the workplace of the future: 

Companies Seek to Fill Skills Gap by Retraining Their Own Workers 

Companies seeking workers in today's tight labor market are increasingly training existing employees to give them the skills they need as the modern workplace becomes more digital.

"The level of commitment in investing in employee training and retraining is at a level that we have never seen before," Johnny C. Taylor Jr., president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, told CFO Journal. Taylor is a member of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board created by the Trump administration. It met for the first time July 10.
(Wall Street Journal

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Developing Employee Career Paths and Ladders]  

Scaling Up Skills 

Employers must shift their focus from reactive hiring to thinking of themselves as builders of talent, says Jonas Prising, chairman and CEO of global staffing and talent acquisition firm ManpowerGroup, based in Milwaukee.

"For organizations, creating a culture of [learning] so that people are equipped and open to adapt—to move within the company or elsewhere—must be a strategic priority." 
(HR Magazine)   

Learning and Development at IBM: A Q&A with Deb Bubb 

IBM is taking a multipronged approach to closing the skills gap and growing employees' skills, using tactics that include the development of in-house academies and the launch of a high-tech apprenticeship coalition with the Consumer Technology Association.

SHRM Online  spoke with Deb Bubb, HR vice president and chief leadership, learning and inclusion officer at IBM, about the company's learning and development initiatives.    
(SHRM Online)  

5 Steps to Creating an Effective Training and Development Program 

Planning is critical in setting up an effective employee training program. Here are five steps you can take to plan for and implement a program to help ensure a solid return on your investment.

10 Companies with Awesome Training and Development Programs 

Companies in the U.S. spend an average of $4.5 billion on training and development programs for employees, according to a report by Training magazine. Here are 10 companies offering programs that will help train people to be better leaders, managers and team players. 

Investing in Apprenticeships Pays Off for Employers 

A panel of HR professionals with experience managing work-based learning programs like apprenticeships explained how these initiatives have helped address skills shortages in their companies and reskill workers with jobs vulnerable to new technology. Employers and policymakers increasingly recognize apprenticeships as an effective way to increase employability and build pipelines of talent.

(SHRM Online)


​An organization run by AI is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of many workplaces and will continue to shape the labor market and HR. Here's how employers and employees can successfully manage generative AI and other AI-powered systems.