Amazon plans $700M investment in training programs for one-third of workforce

Amazon plans $700M investment in training programs for one-third of workforce
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Amazon pledged Thursday to spend $700 million on training programs for 100,000 employees, about a third of its workforce.

The online retailer said it will invest in a set of new "upskilling" programs for employees from all backgrounds and Amazon locations.

The programs will help workers “access training to move into highly skilled technical and non-technical roles across the company’s corporate offices, tech hubs, fulfillment centers, retail stores, and transportation network, or pursue career paths outside of Amazon,” the company said.

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“We think it’s important to invest in our employees, and to help them gain new skills and create more professional options for themselves,” Beth Galetti, senior vice president of human resources for the. company, said in a statement. "With this pledge, we’re committing to support 100,000 Amazonians in getting the skills to make the next step in their careers."

The announcement comes amid criticism from employees, labor groups and politicians about working conditions at Amazon.

Earlier this month, employees at a Minnesota facility announced they would walk out on the company's annual Prime Day summer sale July 15-16.

Amazon has also drawn the attention of Democratic presidential candidates. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally Cardi B posts message of support for Ilhan Omar #IStandWithIlhan trends after crowd at Trump rally chants 'send her back' MORE (I-Vt.) has been a frequent critic of Amazon’s business practices, often pointing out that the company paid no federal income tax in 2018.

The company last year raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour after pressure from Sanders and other activists.