Walmart and some fast food chains around the nation will be offering employees with free GED preparation and testing starting this year.
According to The Washington Post, this partnership will be with GED Testing Service for employees working at Walmart, KFC, Taco Bell, and Southeastern Grocers, which is the parent company of Bi-Lo, Harveys, and Winn-Dixie stores.
The program is usually not free and typically costs $300, but will mainly be funded by employers to cover all costs. Employees using the service will have access to online study materials, practice tests, and an adviser to help makes sure the students pass the exams.
The KFC Foundation, for example, provides scholarships to students. Krista Snider, managing director of the foundation, told The Washington Post that about 31,250 KFC workers do not have a high school diploma or equivalent, so she hopes that a free GED preparation program will encourage more of them to receive educational degrees.
“Many of the people at KFC are primary breadwinners,” Snider told The Washington Post. “They have kids and other responsibilities, so something like getting a high school equivalent is not necessarily their top priority.”
*A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that there are 125,000 KFC workers without high school diplomas. The correct number is 31,250.