Dollywood to Pay Education Tab for Workers

All 11K employees will have college tuition, books, and other costs covered
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2022 3:42 PM CST
Dollywood to Help Staff 'Learn More'
Dolly Parton, shown performing in 2015, has made learning a tenet of her foundation.   (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP, File)

"Learn more" is one of the principles Dolly Parton laid out for her foundation. Dollywood employees will now receive help achieving that goal, CBS News reports. Tuition, fees, and books will be covered for all Dollywood workers who want to continue their education. The offer applies to seasonal, part-time, or full-time employees in the company's 25 sites. That's 11,000 people. "We want our hosts to develop themselves through advanced learning to fulfill the foundation's other tenets: care more, dream more, and be more," said Edward Naughton, president of the Dollywood Co.

Parton hasn't commented publicly on the new program yet, but the company said it has her support. "She’s very supportive of the employees learning and continuing to grow themselves," a company spokesman said. She articulated the four tenets in her commencement address at the University of Tennessee in 2009. People on social media responded with praise. Parton is "easily one of the best celeb-type people ever," one tweet said. The company is hiring applicants 14 and older for this season, and interest rose instantly.

Employees become eligible for the education aid on their first day of work, per CNN. They can choose from diploma, degree, and certificate programs from 30 learning partners in fields including marketing, business administration, finance, technology, and culinary studies, per the Post. The company will assist with the costs of another 150 programs, up to $5,250 per year, in subjects such as engineering, human resources, and art design. "If Dolly is involved, it’s always great to see the reaction," the spokesman said, "especially something like this." (More Dolly Parton stories.)

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