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Under the Wegmans Employee Scholarship Program, Wegmans Food Markets will give college tuition assistance to 1,766 new recipients for the upcoming academic year. The Rochester, N.Y.-based grocery chain expects to pay more than $4.91 million in tuition assistance to both new and returning scholarship recipients for the 2014-15 school year.
In recognition of the most recent crop of scholarship recipients and graduates, all Wegmans stores will serve free cake to employees and customers on Saturday June 7, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
"My grandfather established this long-standing tradition, with the aim of helping young people succeed," noted Wegmans President Colleen Wegman. "The program has grown considerably." Since the initiative began in 1984, more than 30,000 Wegmans associates have received scholarships totaling $95 million. The first class of Wegmans scholarship recipients in the 1984-85 academic year consisted of 241 employees with scholarships totaling $280,000.
Part-time employee scholarship recipients are eligible to receive as much as $1,500 per year for four years (a maximum of $6,000), while full-time employees can get up to $2,200 per year for four years (up to $8,800 total). There's no limit on the number of scholarships awarded each year, and no restrictions are made on a student’s course of study. Recipients may choose any area of study from an accredited college and enter any field they wish to pursue upon graduation. Many scholarship winners, however, have elected to grow their careers at Wegmans after graduating.
To receive a scholarship, employees must meet work-performance criteria, with eligibility also based on a minimum number of work hours over a specified time period. Applications are evaluated by a team from Wegmans.
Family-owned Wegmans operates 84 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.