Discounted JWU courses offered to Bloomin’ Brands employees

PROVIDENCE – Johnson & Wales University is adding to its portfolio of employer education partners.

In a late August release, the Providence-based school announced it would offer discounted tuition to employees of the Bloomin’ Brands Inc. restaurant consortium based in Tampa, Fla., who are interested in any of the university’s College of Online Education undergraduate or graduate programs as well as continuing education undergraduate and master’s degree programs offered on the Providence campus.

Owner of such brands as Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill, 94,000 individuals are employed by Bloomin’ Brands at nearly 1,500 restaurants through 48 states and 19 countries – all of whom are eligible to take advantage of the program.

Cindy Parker, dean of the College of Online Education, said in prepared remarks that the “worldwide” recognition of JWU’s “depth of academic programs relates to food and hospitality,” will help these individuals advance their careers.

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Bloomin’ Brands employees will be able to access reduced-price undergraduate and master’s degree continuing education programs both online, via JWU’s College of Online Education, and in-person at the Providence campus. JWU’s other three campuses – North Miami, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; and Charlotte, N.C. – will not offer in-person courses through this particular corporate sponsorship.

Bachelor’s degrees in culinary arts and food service management; restaurant, food and beverage management; as well as hospitality management are offered through the College of Online Education as well as graduate-level programs in hospitality management; finance; and business administration.

JWU would not disclose the amount of the tuition discount offered to Bloomin’ Brands employee-students. A JWU spokeswoman said that, like any incoming JWU student, all Bloomin’ Brands employees would first have to meet admission criteria prior to enrollment.

Saying he “appreciated” the collaboration with JWU which will see his employees access discounted online continuing education courses, Pablo Brizi, Bloomin’ Brands’ chief human resources officer, added that the company is “proud to help team members expand their growth in both their careers and personal lives.”

Emily Gowdey-Backus is a staff writer for PBN. You can follow her on Twitter @FlashGowdey or contact her via email,