Culture

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Making Education Accessible with Accelerator by Wabash National

  • Culture
  • Employee Engagement
by Rachelle Henderson, Communications Specialist | Aug 05, 2021

Access to education is a matter of inclusion. We pride ourselves in living up to our values and leadership principles, one of which is Always Learn. As the disruption caused by the pandemic collided with the already-looming skills gap, we knew we wanted to take this challenge and create an opportunity. This is why we partnered with education provider and powerhouse Wiley Beyond to learn how we could enhance our tuition assistance experience to make it even more accessible to everyone in the Wabash National community.

Leaders and human resources professionals within the company saw a gap in utilization of this benefit and were determined to streamline the process. Our refined program, built in collaboration with Wiley Beyond, is called Accelerator by Wabash National. The program is simple: employees log in to an online portal, register for the program and are then partnered with an education advisor to guide them through all aspects of finding a degree or certification program that best fits their needs. Education advisors work with employees throughout the duration of the program—not just the beginning. All program offerings are online to make it convenient to take advantage of the program. 

Dave Teeter, senior director of talent and organizational effectiveness at Wabash National, shared his insight on what led him and his team to advocate for and launch this program. 

“At Wabash, we are focused on bringing our leadership principles to life and creating ways for everyone in our community to actively engage in our principles and values. The concept of our value Always Learn is one that is critically important and impacts each of us in unique ways. Beginning in 2020, we sought to redesign and reimagine our tuition reimbursement policy and process across Wabash. Our goals were to provide a rich experience for our workforce with more educational program options and greater flexibility, combined with personalized hands-on support from dedicated career advisors through each step of the process. What resulted from those efforts was our newly rebranded program for tuition assistance, Accelerator by Wabash National. Our desire is that these changes enable us to take a big step forward in supporting our workforce through education and learning to accelerate careers and realize professional goals,” he said. 

Wabash National’s tuition assistance benefit is part of our competitive benefits package. All full-time employees are eligible to take advantage of this benefit on day one of full-time employment. Employees have access to up to $30,000 in total assistance over the duration of their time at the company. With rising tuition costs at four-year institutions, for many working adults, $30,000 in tuition assistance can make all the difference in pursuing higher education. 

This fall, we are running a campaign to create even more interest. The campaign awards a $300 scholarship to all employees who enroll and remain in at least two consecutive courses for the Fall 2021 semester. There’s no need to apply for the scholarship – everything is handled by each employee’s educational advisor.

WHAT EMPLOYEES ARE SAYING ABOUT ACCELERATOR BY WABASH NATIONAL

Jason G., Yard Supervisor (Harrison, AR)
“Using Accelerator was fairly straightforward and easy to use, in my opinion. Logging in and navigating the system was laid out step by step and it offered several colleges for recommendations. I simply set up an appointment by email and a representative quickly contacted me to confirm a scheduled meeting. The phone meeting was very simple, and the representative was very helpful and friendly. Overall, it was a good, easy experience, and I would recommend anyone needing tuition assistance to log in and take advantage of this opportunity.”

Luke R., Environmental Health & Safety Technician (Harrison, AR)
“The Accelerator program has been a blessing from the start. I personally have had the delight of being helped by Tim D. Not only has he explained, in detail, the immense amount of options that the Accelerator program has to offer, he has also walked me through from the very beginning. I went from being skeptical about returning to school to having a definite sigh of relief from knowing that I have Tim and the Accelerator program in my corner!”

Lynn S., Human Resources Manager (Cleburne, TX)
“I started my education journey a long time ago. When I graduated high school, I was able to complete one year of college and then, well, life happened. I started back to college online in 2018 at Indiana Tech. I am not going to sugar coat things: it was tough to work full time and then study every night so that I could pass each class, but it was so worth it in the end. I have learned so much since the start of my journey. My college education has helped increase my knowledge and my confidence so that I can affectively do my job. When I started back to college, there was a different tuition reimbursement program in place. I only had to finish two more classes when the Accelerator program was put into action. I honestly can say that I wish it had been there all along. Accelerator made things so much easier. The Accelerator advisor contacted me once the program was put in place and walked me through how to document classes, final grades and payment receipts. It was quick and painless, and the reimbursement happens very quickly too. Any time I had a question, the Accelerator advisors were only a phone call or an email away and they were always helpful. Tuition reimbursement is a tremendous benefit!!”

JOIN OUR TEAM

If you are a current or prospective employee, be sure to visit our careers page to learn more about this and other competitive benefit offers. Then, stop by to learn more about our current career opportunities and join the Wabash National community! If you are eager to be part of a collaborative, creative and innovative community who are working together to Change How the World Reaches You and who value learning and curiosity, Wabash National is the place for you!

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