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Dollywood is encouraging its employees to pursue their education.
Dollywood Parks & Resorts announced Tuesday it will cover 100% of tuition, fees and books for any employee.
The significant investment in employee education will be made through Herschend’s GROW U., a new program, piloted by Herschend Enterprises, Dolly Parton’s operating partner in Dollywood. The program makes it exponentially easier for employees or hosts as they are known at Dollywood—at all levels to pursue their personal and professional dreams through education. The program officially launches Feb. 24, for all seasonal, part-time, and full-time employees at Dollywood Parks & Resorts. Hosts can enroll in the program on their first day of employment.
“Our goal at Dollywood Parks and Resorts is to provide the best possible experience for both our guests and our hosts,” said 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. We care about our hosts’ development and we want their future to grow because of love—not loans.”
“Herschend’s GROW U. is not only a significant and transformational investment in our employee’s growth but also our love culture in action,” said Andrew Wexler, CEO of Herschend Enterprises. “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.”
Herschend’s GROW U. offers eligible seasonal, part-time and full-time hosts more than 100 fully-funded (100% free) diploma, degree and certificate programs across 30 learning partners, including programs in high-demand fields such as 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.
Guild Education, the nation’s leading education and upskilling platform, powers the program. Guild was selected because of their strong reputation for connecting employers and high-value learning providers to create opportunities for America’s workforce. Dollywood Parks & Resorts hosts will have access to Guild’s proprietary Learning Marketplace to select from more than 30 learning providers and utilize resources like professional coaches to support their educational journey.
Positions are available for the entire length of the 2022 operating season, as well as shorter peak season openings, which are perfect for applicants looking for a fun summer position or for those looking to earn a little extra money during the Christmas holidays. Applicants must be 14 years of age or older.
Dollywood Parks & Resorts hosts receive a variety of unique benefits including access to the Dollywood Family Healthcare Center, along with complimentary Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country admission for family and friends. Hosts are provided free meals for every working shift, and also take part in Dollywood’s Park Perks program which provides free or reduced admission to a large number of regional attractions, theaters and experiences. A comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental and vision, is available for qualified full-time employees.
Dollywood also pays a portion of childcare costs for hosts whose children are cared for at a WeeCare-affiliated provider. Additionally, numerous development opportunities also are available to help employees develop leadership skills, including an apprenticeship program in conjunction with Walters State Community College.