By CBS Baltimore Staff

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WJZ) — Wegmans Food Markets is increasing their investment into the Employee Scholarship Program.

The program awards college tuition assistance to people employed at Wegmans.

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Last year, Wegmans was offering $5.6 million every year to over 5,000 employees. This year, they are offering $6.5 million.

Over a four year period, individuals working part time can receive up to $8,000 and full time employees can earn up to $16,000.

“Our people are at the heart of our success, and we’ve long believed that we can only achieve our goals by first helping them succeed,” said Colleen Wegman, president and CEO of Wegmans. “By increasing the annual award for our scholarship recipients, more employees can pursue a higher education and achieve their goals. Whether they choose to continue their career with Wegmans or go on to make a difference elsewhere after graduation, we’re so grateful for our people.”

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The Employee Scholarship Program began in 1984 and has since invested $130 million in 42,500 employees.

Briana Gonzalez, an employee at Wegmans’ Mt. Laurel store in New Jersey, applied to the program to help pay for additional classes.

“Finding the right career path and major for me has been difficult. I have changed my major a handful of times so far,” said Gonzalez. “This scholarship will take off some financial stress and allow me to take additional courses of my interest that I was not able to take before. I am truly thankful to receive the Wegmans scholarship.”

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Applications for the 2022 scholarship award open in January to current part- and full-time Wegmans employees.

CBS Baltimore Staff