Dolly Parton‘s Dollywood Parks & Resorts is helping out any of the company’s employees who are intent on continuing their education. The Dollywood Co. has announced that it will cover 100% of tuition, fees and books for any employee who is furthering their education, beginning Feb. 24.
The investment in employee education will be made via Herschend Enterprises, Dollywood’s operating partner. The program will be available to all seasonal, part-time and full-time employees at Dollywood Parks & Resorts. Herschuend’s GROW U. offers more than 100 fully funded diploma, degree and certificate programs with 30 learning partners in areas including business administration and leadership, culinary, finance, technology and marketing. The company will also provide partial funding — up to $5,250 per year — for 150 additional programs in fields including hospitality, engineering, human resources and more. Employees can enroll in the program on their first day of employment.
“Our goal at Dollywood Parks and Resorts is to provide the best possible experience for both our guests and our hosts,” said Eugene Naughton, president of The Dollywood Co. “We know when our hosts are happy and feel cared for that they are going to pass that along to our guests. The creation of the program allows another avenue for us to care for our hosts. “One of The Dollywood Foundation’s key tenets is to ‘learn more.’ This program is created with that very tenet in mind. We want our hosts to develop themselves through advanced learning to fulfill the foundation’s other tenets: care more, dream more, and be more. When our hosts strive to grow themselves, it makes our business and our community a truly better place. We care about our hosts’ development and we want their future to grow because of love — not loans.”
Parton’s The Dollywood Co. includes the 160-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins.
Parton, of course, is famously dedicated to education, and opened the Imagination Library in 1995 in her native Sevier County, Tenn. The Imagination Library gifts books free of charge to children from birth to age 5, and gifts more than 1 million free books each month to children around the world.
Parton is set to host the Academy of Country Music Awards on March 7, with Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett co-hosting. Parton was recently announced as a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of 2022 nominee, and revealed that she and Kelly Clarkson have teamed for a re-recording of Parton’s classic “9 to 5.” The song will be featured in the upcoming documentary Still Working 9 to 5, which will premiere at SXSW in Austin.
The Country Music Hall of Fame member also recently teamed with author James Patterson for the novel Run, Rose, Run, which will release March 7, with a companion album from Parton to release March 4.