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TCC selected as an education partner for Amazon’s Career Choice Program

Tidewater Community College has been selected as an education partner for Amazon’s Career Choice program, providing Amazon’s hourly employees access to all of TCC’s career and technical programs, as well as the college’s transfer programs that enable students to a build solid academic foundation and save on the cost of college.

TCC President Marcia Conston says, “Tidewater Community College is proud to partner with Amazon’s Career Choice, providing more higher education opportunities for Amazon’s growing workforce in Hampton Roads.” She added, “TCC offers multiple, flexible pathways for students to learn while working full, or part-time. This partnership with Amazon is ideal for students who want to work for an organization that invests in their education and in their futures.”

TCC is one of the largest providers of higher education in the state of Virginia. The college has campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach, as well as the Regional Automotive Center, the Center for Workforce Solutions and the Visual Arts and Design Center which is opening soon.

Amazon’s Career Choice program is an educational benefit that empowers employees to learn new skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere. The program meets individual learners where they are on their education journey through a variety of education and upskilling opportunities including pre-paid college tuition, industry certifications designed to lead to in-demand jobs, and foundational skills such as English language proficiency, high school diplomas and GEDs.

Amazon Fulfillment Center in Suffolk, Virginia.

Amazon’s Suffolk location is home to around 2,500 employees who have an opportunity to take part in Amazon’s Career Choice program. The 3.8 million-square-foot facility is automated with hundreds of robots that help the workers push out the majority of Amazon packages that are delivered in Hampton Roads. 

Amazon’s Career Choice program has a rigorous selection process for third-party partner educators, choosing partners that are focused on helping employees through their education programs, assisting them with job placements, and overall offering education that leads to career success. 

“We’re looking forward to Tidewater Community College coming on board as an education partner for Career Choice, adding to the hundreds of best-in-class offerings available to our employees,” said Tammy Thieman, Global Program Lead of Amazon’s Career Choice program. “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.”

“Now that I’ve been at TCC for two semesters, I can say it was the best decision ever.” — Rachel Dunn, TCC student

Rachel Dunn is proud to be a Tidewater Community College Student Ambassador and Outstanding High School Graduate Scholar.

“I never really considered community college until my godmother encouraged me to apply,” Rachel said. “Now that I’ve been at TCC for two semesters, I can say it was the best decision ever.”

As an Outstanding High School Graduate Scholar, Rachel is earning her associate degree in two years and paying zero for tuition and fees.

“I started at the community college understanding that it would be a slower pace and I could gather myself and get ready for my four-year school,” she said.

Rachel Dunn at the Portsmouth Campus Student Center.

This scholarship includes required volunteer hours on campus, but Rachel sees this as another benefit. She engages prospective and current students during campus events and also works in the Portsmouth Campus Students Center.

“In the time I’ve known Rachel, I’ve seen how well she manages multiple responsibilities from maintaining a high GPA, to serving as a student ambassador, to caring for younger siblings and working a part-time job,” said Charlene Taylor, Student Center staff member. “I’ve never seen her shy away from a task and she is always willing to serve.”

The student ambassador program also includes leadership training, mentoring and public speaking. All of these opportunities add to the learning curve, especially the soft skills necessary for many careers.

Rachel got her start at the college while she was still in high school. She took dual enrollment classes as a senior at Churchland High. “I was nervous about college, but all that changed after my first class,” she said. “My professor was supportive and encouraging. It helped with my confidence and was just what I needed.”

Rachel is enthusiastic about animals and hopes to one day be a veterinarian. Her work at TCC gave her the courage to begin shadowing a travelling veterinarian in the area.

“I tell everyone no matter how uncomfortable you may be, get out there and give TCC a try,” Rachel said. “The people will be kind to you and the school is like a family. You can’t go wrong coming here.”

In her free time, Rachel spends time with her dog, Cody. She also enjoys hanging out with friends, bowling and helping the Churchland High softball team with their training. Rachel is a former player and was captain of the team during her senior year.

The deadline to apply for the Outstanding High School Graduate Scholarship is April 8, 2022. For more information, contact TCC’s Virtual Student Support Team at 757-822-1111. To learn more about TCC’s dual enrollment program, visit here.