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Amazon invests $450M in programs for DSP drivers

​​​​​​​The new programs offer benefits to participating DSPs, including $5,250 per year for each eligible driver to access college degrees and over 1,700 academic programs.

Amazon is unveiling two new value-added services to empower Delivery Service Partners to improve benefits for their drivers.

A new academic program, Next Mile, provides drivers employed by participating DSPs with up to $5,250 per year to access more than 1,700 academic programs, including bachelors and associate degrees, skill certifications and high school completion courses.

Amazon also announced the addition of a 401(k) plan to the suite of services available to DSPs and is providing DSPs an estimated $60 million over the first year to help these small business owners match employee contributions.

These new benefits from providers and additional rate increases for DSPs to offer competitive pay to their drivers total more than $450 million over the next year.

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Through the DSP program, small businesses around the world have generated over $26 billion in revenue for their companies since launching four years ago, said Parisa Sadrzadeh, vice president of Amazons Worldwide Delivery Service Partner program. We couldn’t have done that without DSPs and their incredible teams. We will continue to innovate with them and use our economies of scale and resources to help them provide best-in-class offerings to their employees. Investing in our DSPs means that we are continuing to invest in communities nationwide. I cant wait to see the future success stories of what these drivers achieve.

The Next Mile program enables DSPs to support and invest in their drivers who want to build new skills to help them achieve their career aspirations. The program is offered by InStride and was inspired by Amazons Career Choice program, which offers college tuition prepaid to more than 750,000 hourly Amazon employees. Next Mile provides participating DSPs and their drivers access to technical training and upskilling opportunities to help them advance their careers. DSPs and drivers will have access to skill-based programs, GEDs or degree programs at educational institutions across the United States.

The program also provides access to curated career pathways to help participants identify educational programs and career options based on skills and interests. Next Mile will be available to all participating DSPs and their teams starting in January 2023, with Amazon reimbursing DSPs for tuition expenses for all eligible drivers.

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As a small business owner, being able to offer my team these industry-leading benefits and services is amazing, said Nicole Kelso, an Amazon DSP and owner of Rainforest Routes. Providing additional training paths and empowering my team to pursue their dreams will help them achieve success within my organization and elsewhere. Investing in their future helps my business provide an even more compelling employment experience.

Amazon shared that more than 70% of DSP drivers expressed that retirement savings is a critical benefit, which is why the company is now offering a 401(k) program to U.S. based DSPs and supporting owners in matching contributions for drivers. Amazon will provide DSPs an estimated $60 million in the first year to help offset the costs for providers that match employee contributions to their teams retirement savings and reimburse 100% of the administrative costs of retirement savings benefits, the company said.

Amazon’s DSP program has been successful because of its long-term partnerships with DSP owners. These new programs from  providers are a direct result of feedback from DSPs and drivers. Today, Amazon works with more than 3,500 DSPs that employ more than 275,000 drivers, who safely deliver more than 10 million customer packages every day. DSPs and their teams support Amazon deliveries worldwide in more than 15 countries, including Ireland, Brazil, India and others, Amazon said.

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Amazon has invested more than $7 billion worldwide over the past four years in safety technology, driver training programs, pay increases and program improvements so drivers can safely and seamlessly deliver for customers. Amazon said that it will continue to invest in its partnership with DSPs to support them in building and retaining great teams and succeed as business owners.

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