Disney World is bringing back its college program for the first time since laying off interns in March 2020
- The Disney College Program is being brought back to Disney World starting in June.
- The program provides internships and entry-level theme-park jobs to students and recent graduates.
- Those whose programs were cut short during the pandemic are now receiving emails inviting them back.
In March 2020, thousands of people enrolled in the Disney College Program lost their jobs and were sent home as a COVID-19 precaution.
More than one year later, those same people are getting a second chance at working at the Orlando, Florida, theme park, as Disney World has announced that it will bring the program back starting in June.In a statement shared on Disney's website, the company said it's encouraging previous participants whose programs ended early or were suspended in 2020 to reapply this year. Disney said it's doing so by sending an "exclusive communication via email" about potential openings.
The Disney College Program (DCP) is only being brought back to Disney World at the time of writing, according to the company's statement.
Now, however, applying to the program is said to be "easier" than before thanks to a "simplified application process, a concierge team of recruiters you can engage with on social media, and year-long arrival dates.""We have temporarily modified some of our eligibility requirements so that many of you can still apply, even if you've already graduated," the statement said. "We're also developing new ways for participants to shape their future careers, exploring a variety of roles and connecting with Disney professionals as they make magic."
Finally, Disney announced that upcoming members of its college program will become the first to reside at the Flamingo Crossings Village complex. There, the company plans to extend its safety precautions on-site by implementing social distancing measures, mask rules, and curbside move-in options.Vaccinated participants will also be allowed to room with others who have received their shots, according to Disney.
Insider previously spoke with numerous DCP employees about the heartbreak they felt as the college program was halted on March 14, 2020. That day, they learned in an email that their jobs were being suspended as Disney World temporarily closed.
Though Disney World doesn't share exact numbers relating to its internship program, about 12,000 people are accepted each year, and it's estimated that more than 10% of its theme-park workforce is made up of DCP participants.
Though the program typically provides internships and entry-level jobs for students and recent graduates, it also serves as a career launching pad for many employees, who often go on to have lengthy roles within the company.
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