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Plainwell, Mich. Team Member Shares Success of Meijer Education Program Benefit
Aug 15, 2023

When Robert Sarro II took a job with Meijer two years ago as a senior in high school, he didn’t expect to grow in his role, while also getting a degree post-high school for free. Thanks to the education benefits Meijer offers to all team members, Robert is on a strong path with continued career opportunities that he wouldn’t have dreamed of a short time ago.  

“I went into it planning to find something else when I turned 18, but as I started to develop my skill set and take on other roles with the goal of leadership being presented, I decided to start a career with Meijer,” said Robert, who is a Remodel Team Leader at the Plainwell, Mich. Meijer, his hometown store. “When I was a child shopping in this store, I never imagined that right after graduating high school, I would be taking on Store Director in-Charge roles, panel interviews for Lines Leader Development, and other opportunities.”

Robert is just one of many team members enrolled in our education programs that don’t only make higher education a more affordable option, but also allows a more flexible work schedule. For Robert, he carves out a few hours a day for school after working his full-time shift. Between learning on the job and his college studies, he’s taking the steps needed to reach his career goals.

Enrollment in our education programs more than doubled since we strengthened them in 2022 with a free tuition benefit to help team members obtain an associate or bachelor’s degree.

“When I found out about the tuition benefit, it was a no-brainer,” said Robert, who turns 20 in November. “Earning my degree online allows me to still have this career at Meijer and to achieve my degree, as well. I've always had my mind set on the degree, but I didn’t want a huge financial burden.”

All Meijer team members are eligible for our education benefits – free tuition, tuition/certificate reimbursement, and scholarships – on their date of hire, a perk that separates Meijer from many other employers.

Robert learned about the Meijer education benefits through his Service Team Leader, who at the time was taking advantage of the college reimbursement program. In addition to a free education, Meijer increased tuition reimbursement for all accredited institutions last year to $5,250 a year for all team members.

“I personally feel this education program truly is the best way to pursue higher education due to its flexibility, fantastic layout, and enjoyability going through the program,” Robert said. “The Meijer education benefit is something everyone who is interested should take advantage of.”

Robert is pursuing his associate degree through the Bright Horizon’s FastTrack program in business administration, which he began in September 2022. He’s on track to finish in the spring with plans to complete a bachelor’s degree with Walden University Online.

Meijer team members can pursue degrees in more than 40 fields, including marketing, computer science and criminal justice. Additionally, the program offers EdAssist academic coaches to advise participating team members on a path forward, such as determining which field of study would be the most beneficial, as well as 10 hours of free tutoring.

Working for a company that invests in its employees means a lot to Robert.

“I appreciate the educational opportunity that Meijer provides by allowing a way for any team member to earn a degree,” he said. “Even further, it’s a program that is flexible with the workplace and does not result in the financial burden traditional universities may produce.”

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