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The program stands to benefit 11,000 employees, including those at Silver Dollar City.
Provided by Silver Dollar City
The program stands to benefit 11,000 employees, including those at Silver Dollar City.

Herschend Enterprises invests in free tuition for all employees

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Silver Dollar City parent company Herschend Enterprises announced an investment into its employees' education.

Herschend Enterprises launched a program called Grow U., through which all of its 11,000 seasonal, part-time and full-time employees are eligible for 100% coverage of tuition, fees and books when pursuing higher education degrees, according to a news release. The company operates Silver Dollar City and more than 20 other ventures, such as Dollywood and White Water.

“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,” said Deanna Partridge, vice president of talent development for Herschend Family Entertainment, who works from Silver Dollar City, in the release. “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.”

Grow U. represents an estimated $1.5 million to $2 million annual investment when fully utilized, said Lisa Rau, director of public relations and publicity for Silver Dollar City and Herschend Family Entertainment, a division of Herschend Enterprises. The company employs approximately 1,800 people in the Branson area, Rau said.

For Grow U., Herschend Enterprises is working with Denver-based Guild Education, which is known for connecting employers with learning providers, according to the release. The company’s website lists partnerships with schools including Cornell, Oregon State and Southern New Hampshire universities.

Rau said employees are not required to have a certain amount of work experience in order to participate in the program. Similarly, they are not required to keep their employment with Herschend Enterprises for a certain amount of time after completing the program, she said.

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