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Fiat Chrysler Expands Tuition Assistance to Employee Spouses and Children

Nov 24, 2015 02:26 AM EST | By Jean-Claude Arnobit
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, free college tuition benefit, dealership workers and families

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has expanded the free tuition benefit to all its dealership employees nationally, including their spouse and children, according to a report from Fortune.

The expanded benefit is part of the automaker's ongoing effort to attract and retain employees at its dealerships.

Fortune said that Fiat Chrysler will expand the free college tuition to all of its 118,000 dealership workers at all brands in the U.S., as well as the spouses and children of the dealership workers

Fiat Chrysler, in partnership with a for-profit college Strayer University, began offering the free college tuition in May to employees at its dealerships in the Southeast.

Fortune adds that employees and their families can enroll at Strayer with no cost, once the employee opts into the program.

The dealership will be paying a flat fee to allow workers' access to the benefit and another flat fee for their spouses and children.

John Fox, the director of Dealer Training at Fiat Chrysler U.S., told Fortune that the expanded benefit will help them attract talent.

"It's a battle to put kids through college," he said. "This is a benefit that can surely bring top talent to our dealers." said that Al Gardner, the head of Dealer Network Development for Fiat Chrysler, echoes Fox's sentiment.

"Families are often faced with tough choices about how to pay for college," he said. "Expanding this benefit to employees' immediate family members positions our dealer network as the 'employers of choice.'"

Fortune adds that Fox said annual retention at dealerships, depending on position, in the 65 percent to 85 percent range.

This shows that 35 percent of jobs at the dealerships are turning over at least once every 12 months.

Fortune adds that Gardner said in May that turnover at dealerships' showrooms was between 40 percent and 60 percent. adds that Fiat Chrysler said the program was developed based on the feedback from individual dealerships and their employees.

Employees and their families can enroll in associate, bachelor's or master's degree program at Strayer's 78 locations.

Fortune adds that employees who have worked at Fiat Chrysler's dealerships for 30 days will be eligible to enroll at Strayer.

Employees can take classes online or at the campus.

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