Wegmans Food Markets plans to award college tuition assistance to 1,842 new recipients for the upcoming academic year.
The Rochester, N.Y.-based regional grocer said Tuesday that, through the Wegmans Employee Scholarship Program, it expects to pay out about $5 million in tuition assistance to new and returning scholarship recipients during the 2020-21 school year.
“Our employees play such a vital role in our company and we are so grateful for them, especially during this unprecedented time,” Colleen Wegman, president and CEO of Wegmans, said in a statement. “This scholarship program helps our people pursue higher education and grow their career. With many graduations canceled or postponed this year, we feel it is particularly important to congratulate this year’s scholarship recipients, and all 2020 graduates.”
During the June 13-14 weekend, Wegmans will recognize all graduating employees with a graduation certificate and a gift to help them celebrate at home.
Under the program, part-time employee scholarship recipients can receive up to $1,500 per year for four years (a maximum of $6,000), and full-time employees can receive up to $2,200 per year for four years (up to $8,800 total).
There’s no limit on the number of scholarships awarded each year, and students choose their course of study, Wegmans noted. Recipients can select any area of study from an accredited college and enter any field they want upon graduation, the company said, adding that many scholarship winners opt to stay with Wegmans after college to continue their career at the retailer.
To receive a scholarship, Wegmans employees must meet work-performance criteria. Eligibility is also based on a minimum number of work hours over a specified time period. Since the program’s launch in 1984, more than 40,000 Wegmans employees have been awarded scholarships, totaling $125 million.
The latest scholarship recipients include employees from Wegmans stores in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and New York (including Buffalo, Brooklyn, Syracuse, Rochester, and the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions), as well as from the company’s corporate, distribution and manufacturing locations.
Overall, Wegmans operates 101 supermarkets in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts and North Carolina.