The Walt Disney Company recently laid off a massive amount of their Disney Parks Cast Members on both coasts.
For some Cast Members, losing their jobs also meant losing their education.
The Walt Disney Company had a higher education reimbursement program in place for its workers called Disney Aspire.
The Orlando Sentinel reported this about the program now that tens of thousands of Cast Members have been laid off:
Known as Disney Aspire, it was one of the most generous employer education programs in the country. Disney vowed to invest $150 million over five years to help lift workers out of poverty by fully funding their education. The program got started as the company reportedly saved at least $1.6 billion in the first year from the GOP corporate tax cuts.
What once felt like winning the lottery is now heartbreak. Walt Disney Co. last month revealed it was ending Aspire for at least some of the 28,000 workers it is laying off across the U.S. because of the coronavirus pandemic. About 15,500 of those employees are in Orlando.
While we do not know an exact number of the Cast Members who lost their jobs who actually participated in the Aspire program, we can see how devastating it would be for those enrolled.
The economic impact of specifically the Walt Disney World layoffs are anticipated to hit the Central Florida economy hard. It is not just Disney reducing staff by the thousands, Universal and other large employers in Florida are also making cuts.
How to Give Back to Cast Members
The coronavirus pandemic has created hardships for many, many people around the world.
If you are a fan of Disney Parks you know firsthand how invaluable Cast Members are to the magical experience of your visit to any Disney property. Cast Members were not immune to losing their jobs, and education, as ramifications of the virus.
If you want to find a way to give back to Cast Members who helped create magical moments for you and your family, we have links to resources on both coasts that can help connect you to great organizations in order to give back.
Let us know what you think about this situation in the comments