Polk State College & LEGOLAND’s Building Higher Initiative Offers Pre-Paid Scholarships for Park Employees
by James Coulter
LEGOLAND Florida Resort employees can now receive pre-paid scholarships to Polk State College (PSC) with a new program created through a partnership between the university and theme park. LEGOLAND hosted an open house last Wednesday at their Beach Retreat, where park and PSC representatives divulged more information about the initiative.
“Polk State College and LEGOLAND® Florida Resort are proud to build on the longstanding partnership between Polk County’s largest-serving higher education institution and premier theme park to offer prepaid scholarships to Polk State College for LEGOLAND® Florida Resort employees,” a PSC press release stated.
Through an initial investment of $30,000 through the PSC Foundation, the Building Higher initiative will provide pre-paid scholarships that will cover tuition and costs not already covered by financial aid, as reported by The Ledger.
Building Higher will be available to all full-time and part-time employees who meet eligibility requirements. The scholarship will cover tuition balance for students with up to five classes, or a total of 15 credit hours, per semester.
To be eligible, employees must have four full days of availability, provide sixty days of service, obtain a minimum C grade in each class, and maintain a good standing performance. The application deadline for current employees is Dec. 10, while future employees must apply by Nov. 1.
Since opening ten years ago, LEGOLAND Florida Resort has offered superb benefits to its full-time and part-time employees through its Model Citizen program. Model Citizen benefits include a 401k retirement program, medical, dental, and vision health plans, deep discounts to all worldwide parks and resorts, tuition reimbursement, and potential for career growth and development.
LEGOLAND Resort has maintained a close partnership with PSC, with many of its employees also being students. Its Internship Program, since its start in 2015, has allowed more than 60 students to earn valuable work experience at the resort while also earning academic credit, a PSC press release stated.
“The internship allows Polk State students the opportunity to earn college credit while receiving valuable hands-on experience in areas including finance, marketing, and waste and environmental management,” the press release stated. “Internships and Polk State degrees have led to employment and promotions for LEGOLAND® Florida Resort employees, signifying the company’s value of a Polk State education.”
PSC President Dr. Angela M. Garcia Falconetti appreciates the partnership her university has with LEGOLAND Resort. Having lived in eight states and worked for various organizations during her 20-year career in education, she noted how rare it is for an international organization like Merlin Entertainment to be as invested in their local community and have it become a valuable part of their organization.
“Polk State College is proud to build on its longstanding partnership with LEGOLAND® Florida Resort, which continues to provide internship and employment opportunities for hundreds of Polk State students and alumni,” Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti said. “This new initiative is a testament to our success as partners in creating a powerful workforce pipeline that is propelling the economic development of Polk County forward through academic and career-building opportunities.”
Rex Jackson, Managing Director of LEGOLAND Resorts, has high expectations for their Building Higher initiative. He hopes that many employees will seize the opportunity to not only further their careers at the parks, but also further their educational and career opportunities in the near future.
“Starting a career at LEGOLAND Florida Resort can lead to opportunities at one of our ten LEGOLAND resorts across the globe and one of our 130 attractions from Merlin Entertainment across the globe,” he said. “So, the opportunities and the skill sets and the capabilities here at Legoland Florida Resort will provide you opportunity for future growth and development either here at Legoland Florida or at any of the other Merlin attractions.”
Individuals who are interested in employment with LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and this prepaid scholarship opportunity can contact [email protected] for more information.