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Springfield, MO

Amazon exec to speak at city workforce luncheon

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An Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) executive is scheduled to visit Springfield Feb. 20 for the city’s MOmentum: State of the Workforce luncheon.

Juan Garcia, Amazon’s global leader for career advancement, signed on as the keynote speaker for the event, when officials will release the fourth-annual survey results on the quality and needs of the local workforce and small businesses. The event will be held at White River Conference Center, according to a news release.

Garcia is scheduled to speak about Amazon’s career development and advancement efforts.

“While many associates come to Amazon for a long-term career, others see Amazon as just one step in their personal career journey,” Garcia said in the release. “It’s our goal to help people pursue their dreams, even if that means leaving the employment of Amazon.”

Garcia also plans to discuss Amazon’s Career Choice Program, which prepays or reimburses nearly all tuition and fees for its 300,000 employees to earn certificate and associate degrees. He’ll also talk about The Offer, an Amazon initiative that gives fulfillment department employees up to $5,000 to quit each year.

“The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want. In the long run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wrote in a 2014 letter to shareholders.

Before starting at Amazon in 2015, Garcia worked six years as assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, an appointed position by former President Barack Obama at the time. He’s also a former member of the Texas House of Representatives, according to the release.

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