An Innovative Approach for Kroger

This is interesting.

Take a gander here.

  • ​Kroger this week introduced “Feed Your Future,” a learning and education benefit for workers, as part of the company’s larger “Restock Kroger” growth effort, according to a news release. Feed Your Future will support both full- and part- time employees, whether they are pursuing GEDs, MBAs or professional certifications, Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen said in the news release.

  • Employees must be with the company for at least six months to qualify for Feed Your Future. Kroger will offer workers an education benefit of up to $3,500 a year – or $21,000 over the course of their employment – toward education and development opportunities. It also will allow employees a leave of absence to focus on their education without losing their position or seniority within the company.

That sounds great, for those who are able to take advantage. Frankly, any for-profit company that isn’t extremely in the red should truly invest in their employees and their lifelong learning. As I’ve said many times, there will not be any careers for which your learning will end after a traditional college education, and if employers want the best workers, they should be helping to mold them, or support them as they forge ahead to mold themselves.

Interesting detail, though:

  • McMullen credits lower federal taxes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for giving Kroger the ability to provide the benefit to workers. The tax overhaul is expected to save the grocer about $400 million per year, and Kroger executives have said they will use around a third of that savings to benefit workers, including pay raises and boosting the company match to employee 401(k) savings plans from 4% to 5%.

Well. As much as it pains me to see that destructive law cited, the lesson remains the same, that extra money should not simply remain in the hands of the few and should be used for the benefit of the many, particularly when it comes to education. If Kroger truly follows through on this, it’s nothing but a good thing. (Though they could use more than “a third of that savings” if they really wanted to…)