St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare's lifelong-learning account program has been honored by the American Society for Training & Development as one of its 2007 award winners. Here are some of the features of the training initiative:
* BJC employees may contribute after-tax dollars through payroll deduction for their own education and receive an annual match of up to $500 from BJC.
* The money from these accounts can be used in conjunction with BJC's tuition-reimbursement plan and to pay for some classes not eligible for the tuition plans.
* The minimum per paycheck contribution is $5, and there is no maximum employee contribution. Employees can change their deduction amount at any time during the year.
* BJC will match, dollar for dollar, the employee contribution up to a maximum of $500 per year. The maximum amount of the BJC Learning Account match that can be in the employee learning account at one time is $1,000.
* For courses approved under BJC's tuition-reimbursement plan, employees may withdraw money from their BJC Learning Account to prepay education costs -- to cover up-front, out-of-pocket costs. Once the employee satisfactorily completes the course, money from tuition assistance will be deposited back into the employee's BJC Learning Account.
* For courses not approved under BJC's tuition-reimbursement plan, employees may withdraw BJC Learning Account funds to prepay for those classes. The only difference is that the tuition-reimbursement plan will not deposit money back into the employee's BJC Learning Account.