Beyond Ed Benefits: HR Leaders Investing in Career Opportunities

Latest Guild Partner announcements – MOD Pizza, Regions Bank, PNC, Target 1 Year Anniversary and more…


Tuition-free education has become table stakes for many employers looking to attract and retain workers in a competitive talent market. But a growing trend amongst today’s workforce is a desire to also see career advancement opportunities before they apply or consider staying with their current company.  Guild’s recent research study, the American Worker Survey Report, cemented that perspective, finding that two thirds of employees today are looking for new career opportunities, and more than half hope it’s with their existing employer. 

The HR leaders listed below are committing to comprehensive, employer sponsored education benefits for employees as well as career mobility through their partnership with Guild. We’re excited to celebrate these recent additions to the Guild ecosystem and to share updates from existing Guild partners championing education and career opportunity for their workforce. 

  • MOD Pizza removes barriers to education and career mobility for 10,000+ squad members
  • Regions Bank invests in part time and full time associates to further their education while building their career
  • PNC commits to in career development initiatives to meet increased demand for skilled workers internally 
  • 1 Year Guild Anniversary: Target invests in more equitable, inclusive access growing its Emerging Engineers Program with internal talent
  • Partner Update: Disney’s Aspire program promotes 2,500 participants and program graduates to new, internal roles
  • Partner Update: Fortune’s MPW Next Gen 2022 – Walmart’s Lo Stomski shares commitment to education and Career Mobility for associates
  • Additional Reading: SHRM | Debt-Free Education “Life Changing” for frontline workers

MOD Pizza offers tuition-free college to its 10,000+ squad members

MOD Pizza – a people-first, purpose-led brand – announced a sizable expansion of its Journey Program with the addition of tuition-free education for 10,000+ squad members through Guild. In company owned stores across America, employees can now access life changing opportunities like earning a bachelor’s degree, professional certificates or enrolling in English language learning – all through Guild’s Learning Marketplace and Career Opportunity Platform. 

“This is an important investment for MOD, and one that can help remove the barriers to education and career mobility that exist for so many,” said Ally Svenson, MOD’s co-founder and protector of the purpose. “The MOD Journey Program is designed to support and serve the people of MOD and ensure we are providing opportunities that will positively impact their lives…” Read More


Regions Bank introduces tuition-free education benefits to all associates

Regions Bank associates now have access to tuition-free education on their first day of employment through a partnership with Guild. Both part time and full time associates can further their education while building their career. 

“Already, Regions Bank is an employer of choice; now, given our work with Guild, we’re empowering associates with even more opportunities to define their future while working for a company that actively invests in their success,” said Seanna McGough, head of L&D for Regions Bank. “Through the new Guild program, associates can now pursue a degree or other educational opportunities tuition free while building their career at the same time. By removing barriers and expanding access to education, we are continuing our commitment to Build the Best Team…” Read More


PNC advances career mobility with tuition-free education available for 65,000 employees

PNC has invested in career development initiatives to help meet increased demand for skilled workers throughout its footprint. Through a partnership with Guild, PNC recently introduced an education benefit available to the company’s 62,000 employees. After 90 days of employment, workers gain access to a best-in-class education experience including tuition-covered professional certificates, college prep courses and higher education to advance career opportunities. Partially funded tuition assistance, fully funded tuition assistance and tuition reimbursement options are available. Read More


1 Year Guild Anniversary: Target helps team members turn tuition-free learning into lifelong careers

Last fall, Target partnered with Guild to introduce a new tuition-free education assistance benefit, Dream to Be. Team members were given access to tuition-free undergraduate and associate degrees, certificates, short form and bootcamp programs — both online and in-person. One year later, there’s a lot to celebrate: More than 75,000 team members have expressed interest and opened accounts with Guild since September 2021. 

Target has committed to a $200 million investment in Dream to Be over the next 4 years ensuring that all team members have the opportunity to advance their careers and gain new skills. Supporting team members in careers across the business, from business to communications, design and…Read More


Partner Update: Disney enrolls 13,000 cast members in tuition-free education 

Disney is attracting and keeping workers by tapping into learning and development. The company launched Disney Aspire in 2018, an education benefit that allows all hourly Disney employees in the U.S. access to tuition-free education through a partnership with Guild. In recent months, the company has heavily promoted the program, with some 13,000 out of its 80,000-person workforce currently enrolled. About half of the participants are workers of color, and more than 2,500 students and graduates have been promoted within the company. 

Chris Trout, The Walt Disney Company’s Vice President of Learning and Development, spearheads the program and credits its success to three factors: the design, storytelling, and buy-in from leaders across the company…Read More


Fortune’s MPW Next Gen 2022 Panel – Walmart’s Lorraine Stomski on education and career mobility

Lorraine “Lo” Stomski, SVP Associate Learning and Leadership at Walmart and Bijal Shah, CXO and Head of Platform at Guild were interviewed at Fortune’s MPW Next Gen 2022 Event on talent strategy, career mobility and upskilling priorities. Stomski shares the sizable financial investment made by Walmart in education, training and learning over the next five years to better serve their 2.3 million associates across the globe. Specifically for education programs, Walmart has made the choice to lean into their frontline workforce with education and career mobility. Walmart’s LiveBetterU (LBU) program has seen 5,300 promotions and lateral transfers. Stomski also shares the success of their move to fully funded education via Guild versus the previous $1 a day model – a transition which drove a 66% jump in program participation…Watch Panel


Tuition-free education “life changing” for frontline workers

SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management) Article | October 2022

One of the growing trends in HR in corporate America today – tuition-free, employer sponsored education for employees. The list of companies announcing these benefits exponentially grew during the pandemic and continues to gain steam. Proponents of tuition-free education argue that these initiatives have impacts on a societal level – breaking down economic barriers to education and driving career mobility. 

“In the last 12 months, over 5 million employees had access to Guild’s platform”, said Natalie McCullough, president and chief commercial officer at Guild Education. Learners have access to over 2,000 programs that have been curated from various education providers. The programs go beyond education and include career services and coaching to help chart career pathways for learners.

“We’ve pioneered how workers can advance their education and careers by developing a modern form of traditional tuition reimbursement that removes the greatest barrier to entry for higher education—skyrocketing price tags for tuition,” McCullough said. “The old model has the unintended consequence of restricting programs to higher earners…” Read More