Herschend Enterprises Announces Initiative to Cover 100% of Employee’s Tuition Fees

Today, Herschend Enterprises, operating partner of Dollywood, announced it will cover 100% of tuition, fees, and books for its 11,000 employees who choose to pursue further education.

What’s Happening:

  • Herschend Enterprises is offering the incentive through its pilot program GROW U. Seasonal, part-time and full-time employees will have access to diploma, degree and certificate programs across 30 learning partners. Programs will be offered in business administration and leadership, culinary, finance, technology, and marketing.
  • Additionally, the company will provide partial funding, up to $5,250/year, for 150 additional programs in fields including hospitality, engineering, human resources and art design.
  • The GROW U program officially launches February 24, for all employees. Hosts can enroll in the program on their first day of employment.
  • The program is available for all seasonal, part-time, and full-time employees across its 25 US attractions including Dollywood Parks & Resorts, Silver Dollar City, The Harlem Globetrotters, Adventure Aquarium, Newport Aquarium, Kentucky Kingdom, Wild Adventures, and Pink Adventure Tours.

What They’re Saying:

  • Eugene Naughton, president of The Dollywood Company:
    • “We know when our hosts are happy and feel cared for that they are going to pass that along to our guests,”
    • “The creation of the program allows another avenue for us to care for our hosts.”
    • “One of The Dollywood Foundation’s key tenets is to ‘learn more.’ This program is created with that very tenet in mind. We want our hosts to develop themselves through advanced learning to fulfill the foundation’s other tenets: care more, dream more, and be more. When our hosts strive to grow themselves, it makes our business and our community a truly better place.”
  • Andrew Wexler, CEO of Herschend Enterprises:
    • "Herschend's GROW U. is not only a significant and transformational investment in our employee's growth but also our love culture in action,"
    • "Herschend is rooted in love – it's evident at every Herschend property, every day –in the way we treat and support each other, how we Create Memories Worth Repeating for guests, and most importantly, how we care for our employees."
    • "Whether it's to pursue a new dream or advance their career with us, we care about our employees' personal and professional growth, because we believe that their futures should be grown with love, not loans,"
    • "Our team members' success is our success – and that's why we're thrilled to make this benefit available to all, regardless of their role in the company and without the burden of debt."
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