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READING, Pa. -- Redner's Markets Inc., operator of 40 warehouse markets and 12 convenience stores throughout Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland, launched a new tuition reimbursement program, called Food for Thought, in an effort to encourage employees to attend college, reported the Centre Daily Times.
This fall, Redner's will pay employees who are also enrolled full time at Bucks County Community College $92 for every credit hour earned, up to $750 per semester and $6,000 over the course of the student's college career, the report stated.
The Food for Thought program will help employees cover education costs and give the business a tool for recruiting and developing its workforce, said company spokesman Eric White.
"I think it's a great program," Mike Smith, a freshman engineering student who works at Redner's Middletown Township store, told the paper. "Classes at Bucks are not that much so this covers a really big portion and I'm more motivated to do better at school."
Danielle Hunter, a recent graduate who has worked at Redner's for three years, told the paper the tuition reimbursement program was a factor in her decision to go to Bucks County Community College.
"This makes it cheaper," she said.
To date, Redner's is offering the program for only Bucks County Community College students.
"Our vice president has a good relationship with Bucks County (Community College) and there are a couple of stores surrounding the college that we can help pull students from," White said.
However, the company is piloting a program where high school student employees can receive one tuition-reimbursement dollar for every hour worked, with a lifetime maximum of $2,000, the paper reported. That program is being offered at Wilson Senior High School in Berks County, Pa.
In time, Redner's will partner with schools in each of its markets to expand both programs, White said.
"Before we roll it out everywhere, we want to test it," he told the paper. "We'll start small, but you'll see some growth."
So far, four employees have applied to the program, which requires a "C" average and good standing with Redner's to be eligible, the report stated.