All employees at Dolly Parton's Dollywood Parks & Resorts in Tennessee and the 24 additional U.S. attractions owned by Herschend Enterprises will soon be eligible to receive higher education for free.
Herschend Enterprises, Dollywood's parent company, announced Tuesday that it will cover 100% of tuition costs and books for its 11,000 employees. Additional attractions owned by the company include The Harlem Globetrotters, Adventure Aquarium in New Jersey, Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri and more.
The company said in a statement that the new initiative, which has been named Herschend's GROW U., showcases that the company is rooted in love and care for its 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," Herschend Enterprises CEO Andrew Wexler said. "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."
Herschend Enterprises partnered with Guild Education to offer more than 100 fully-funded diploma, degree and certificate programs. Some of the programs include business administration, finance, technology and culinary. In addition, the company will also offer up to $5,250 a year to employees for 150 additional programs in other fields.
Herschend's GROW U. launches on Feb. 24, and all part-time, full-time and seasonal employees are eligible.