Employees of Dolly Parton’s theme parks are being given the green light to pursue higher education on the organization’s dime.
The singer is not shy about using her fame and wealth for charitable and philanthropic endeavors. Now, those who work at parks like Dollywood, Dollywood’s Splash Country, Dolly Parton’s Stampede, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, Dollywood Cabins, and Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show can take classes knowing their tuition and books will be covered.
According to FOX 17 Nashville, Herschend Enterprises, the operating partner behind the parks, announced that, starting this month, all employees will be covered under the new workplace perk through the organization’s GROW U. The offer reportedly extends to both full-time, part-time and seasonal employees starting on Feb. 24, 2022.
The station reports that employees will be eligible to enroll in any diploma, degree or certificate program offered among 30 learning partners with Herschend Enterprises in the areas of business administration and leadership, culinary, finance, technology and marketing. Meanwhile, up to $5,250 per year will be covered for 150 additional programs such as hospitality, engineering, human resources and art design.
"We know when our hosts are happy and feel cared for that they are going to pass that along to our guests," Eugene Naughton, president of The Dollywood Company, said, according to FOX 17 Nashville. "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."
"Whether it’s to pursue a new dream or advance their career with us, we care about our employees’ personal and professional growth, because we believe that their futures should be grown with love, not loans," Andrew Wexler, CEO of Herschend Enterprises, said. "Our team members’ success is our success – and that’s why we’re thrilled to make this benefit available to all, regardless of their role in the company and without the burden of debt."