The College of Staten Island will be part of a new partnership between The City University of New York and Amazon which allows the company’s hourly employees to attend college to further their career opportunities. Starting in January 2022, through Amazon’s Career Choice program, the company will provide an annual benefit covering tuition and select fees for all qualifying hourly employees accepted into CSI.

Starting with an initial focus on Associate and Bachelor’s degrees, the initiative is open to any major of study at eight CUNY colleges in all five New York City boroughs. CUNY’s partnership, the first for Amazon in New York State, is part of a national commitment by Amazon to provide educational and upskilling opportunities to more than 750,000 hourly employees at four national and more than 140 local universities and colleges.

“This important partnership is a powerful example of how the private sector can join forces with the City University of New York to advance workers’ education, promote economic mobility and help rebuild New York City’s post-pandemic economy all at the same time,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “We thank Amazon for its commitment to higher education for its employees and look forward to working with them while expanding CUNY’s role as one of the nation’s premier engines of economic opportunity.”

“It makes me happy to know my co-workers all have the ability to use this benefit and better their lives if they so choose,” said John Edward LaPiedra, a senior accounting major at CSI and a dock clerk at Amazon who is making use of the program. “The program puts you in the driver’s seat and lets you decide if you want to take the challenge of college head-on without having the complicating factor of the cost of college. It feels good to know the company I work for has my back in supporting me to reach my goals.”

Through this collaboration, New York City-based Amazon workers will have access to over 500 Associate and Bachelor’s CUNY degree programs – including those at CSI — offered online or in-person, including in-demand fields such as technology, healthcare, and green energy. This initial cohort of CUNY colleges represent a footprint in each borough to provide locations in physical proximity to Amazon operations. Staten Island is home to Amazon’s largest fulfillment center in New York. The other CUNY colleges participating in the program include: Bronx Community College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, the City College of New York, the CUNY School of Professional Studies, Kingsborough Community College, LaGuardia Community College and Queens College.

“At Amazon, we’re committed to empowering our employees by providing them access to the education and training they need to grow their careers, whether that’s with us or elsewhere,” said Carley Graham Garcia, Head of Community Affairs at Amazon in New York. “We’re thrilled today to be partnering with CUNY on our Career Choice program to give our employees access to pursue the education path that fits their passions. Whether employees are looking to finish their Bachelor’s degree at CUNY or build on their foundational skills of English proficiency or GED preparation with our national partners, we’re prepared to meet our employees wherever they are on their educational journey.”

Career training is just one of the industry-leading benefits that Amazon offers to its team. In addition, Amazon pays employees an average starting wage of $18 per hour, which is more than double the federal minimum wage, and provides comprehensive health benefits, paid time off, up to 20 weeks fully paid parental leave, and additional benefits for employees and their families.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the CUNY/Amazon joint educational partnership, Career Choice Program,” said Robert Wallace, Interim Vice President for Economic Development, Continuing Studies, and Government Relations. “The College of Staten Island is proud to serve our local community, as a premier institution where our residents can pursue their college education, and a supporter for our local businesses, helping to drive the economy.”

Since launching in 2012, Career Choice has helped provide education for more than 50,000 employees. As of this announcement, Amazon’s Career Choice program works with more than 180 education providers across the U.S., which along with colleges and universities includes partners providing industry certifications, English language proficiency, high school completion programs, and college preparatory courses. Career Choice is one of nine free skills training and education programs that Amazon offers to its employees as part of its Upskilling 2025 pledge.

To learn more about Career Choice, visit:

To learn more about Amazon’s $1.2 billion investment to upskill 300,000 employees in the next four years, visit:

Jobs are available across New York. Interested candidates can see all open positions at

To learn more about CUNY Career Success Initiatives, please visit:

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