Smart Move, Amazon

Posted By: Jeannine Kunz, Chief Workforce Development Officer, SME on August 27, 2019

Smart Move, Amazon

Recently Amazon announced a plan to invest over $700 million to upskill 100,000 U.S. employees by 2025. That’s about $7,000 per worker.

Especially with a tight labor market, this is a smart investment.

As Beth Galetti, senior vice president, HR, said in a statement from Amazon’s announcement, “We think it’s important to invest in our employees, and to help them gain new skills and create more professional options for themselves. With this pledge, we’re committing to support 100,000 Amazonians in getting the skills to make the next step in their careers.”

What is your company’s commitment to training? Are you investing in your employees? Your organization’s future?

Research shows this may not be the case. According to the Tooling U-SME Industry Pulse: Manufacturing Workforce Study, only about one in three manufacturers (36%) is budgeting for employee development.

Anyone else feel that collective shudder? Think about how quickly the industry is changing with the integration of advanced technology.

In fact, manufacturers say they are challenged to implement smart manufacturing technologies (82%), new technology (81%), automation (78%), cybersecurity (73%), and big data and analytics (69%).

Today’s workers need the knowledge and skills to advance along with technology. Even without the lowest unemployment rate in years, hiring alone isn’t going to meet those needs.

For instance, look at Amazon’s fastest-growing highly skilled jobs over the last five years:

  • data mapping specialist (832% growth)
  • data scientist (505%)
  • solutions architect (454%)
  • security engineer (229%)
  • business analyst (160%)

Changing technology is driving their strategy, too. Amazon said that through its Upskilling 2025 pledge, the company is focused on creating pathways to careers in areas that will continue growing in years to come, including machine learning, manufacturing, robotics, cloud computing, and more.

This approach will have a positive impact on employees, too, who appreciate this commitment to their career development, leading to a boost in morale and loyalty.

This is especially true with younger generations that value continual learning and expect it to be part of the hiring package.

Of course, this ties directly to reducing a huge expense in the industry: turnover. Losing great people leads to everything from lost customers to safety concerns to stagnant growth.

When Cost of Turnover can run $7,000 or more per employee, isn’t investing, like Amazon, in your people through training a smarter way to secure your company’s future?

We’re here to help you tackle your organization’s workforce challenges head-on or identify some projects to get you started in the right direction. Contact us at 866.706.8665 or visit

Tags: Amazon, "Beth Galetti", "cost of turnover", "Industry Pulse: Manufacturing Workforce Study", manufacturing, "Tooling U-SME", training, "Upskilling 2025", workforce