Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in 2016 revealed his wish to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years, as well as to train 10,000 more in cloud computing skills. On Thursday, the Seattle-based company signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to move the plan forward with the creation of a registered apprenticeship program.
It’s all part of the Joining Forces initiative set up by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, and will help ease veterans back into the nation’s workforce.
Those who join the program will take a 16-week technical training program and also get a 12-month paid apprenticeship with the web giant, according to the Seattle Times. It’s hoped that a number of the placements will result in full-time positions with Amazon, though participants would also be able to make use of their new skills at other employers, too.
“Partnerships like this one have reinvigorated our nation’s apprenticeship system, creating opportunity and pathways to prosperity for hundreds of thousands of Americans that will last for years to come,” Deputy U.S. Secretary of Labor Chris Lu said in a release.
Amazon is among more than 200 employers, colleges, and labor organizations that have signed up to the work and training initiative. The company has already hired around 10,000 veterans since 2011, with this latest initiative set to boost that figure markedly.
Bezos first outlined his company’s intention to sign up to the program during a speech at the White House in May 2016.
“We believe this is the right thing to do for our veterans and military spouses, for Amazon, and for our hundreds of millions of customers,” the CEO said, adding that the company was “excited to keep hiring and training these incredible leaders.”