Fast-food giant gives out tuition assistance to employees who are going to college

 ◙  July 15, 2020  |   Posted by:  |  Written by: Madison T.  |  Related: Emergency Financial Assistance

McDonalds is making it easier for employees to continue their education. The burger chain recently announced that it would be extending its tuition assistance benefits. They will also be changing the requirements needed to get into this program.

In the past, employees had to work for nine months before they are eligible for tuition assistance. However, today employees only have to work 90 days. Employees used to have to work 20 hours per week in order to get benefits. Now, employees only have to work 15 hours per week.

Employees will be able to get up to $2,500 to attend trade schools, four-year colleges and community colleges. The previous figure was $700. Managers will now be able to get $3,000 per year instead of $1,050.

The name of the program is Archways to Opportunity. This program also helps people who have not yet completed their high school diploma. Students will be able to enroll in ESL classes. They can also get free educational counseling. McDonalds has committed to spending $150 million on education.

McDonalds changed the requirements and increased tuition assistance in order to keep their current employees and attract new ones. A new tax law has also prompted this change. David Fairhust is the chief people officer for McDonalds. He stated that McDonalds had lowered its requirements for getting help to that of a summer job. He also stated that tuition has been tripled and educational benefits have been added for family members. He believes that these changes are showing people that McDonalds does care about their future.

Archways to Opportunity is a program that was started in 2015. Ever since this program, over 24,000 people have been helped by it. This program has also given out $21 million in scholarships. These changes will take place on May 1, 2018. However, the retroactive changes go back to January 1.

Maria K. Flynn is the president and CEO of Jobs for the Future. Jobs for the Future is an organization that creates employment and educational opportunities for people who are in underserved areas. She stated that if employers do not prepare the workplace for today, then people will not be prepared for tomorrow's workplace.

Maria stated that McDonalds is making it easier for employers to get educational benefits and extending benefits for people who already have them. Not only is McDonalds extending benefits, but it is also extending the Career Online High School program. Jamie Falls believes that it can be game-changing for some people. It is estimated that 40 percent of people who work for McDonalds do not have a high school diploma.

Jamie believes that this program is better than the tuition reimbursement program. Students will be able to get their money up front instead of having to wait for it. He stated that these are positive changes that the Archways to Opportunity program has made.

Peter Capelli is a director of the Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton. He stated that it is a smart for employees to do something like this. Benefits like this are great retention devices.

McDonalds has received a lot of criticism in recent years about wages and benefits. Many people have also criticized this tuition assistance program. They have stated that people who work at McDonalds may not have time to continue their education. People do not know whether they will work 10 hours or 40 hours per week.

It is estimated that half of the people who work for McDonalds will qualify for these benefits. McDonalds is not the only fast-food chain that is extending its benefits for employees. Chipotle and Starbucks have also increased their employees benefits and workers bonuses.

Steve Easterbrook is the CEO of McDonalds. He stated that it has had problems attracting and keeping employees. Low unemployment rates has contributed to this problem. He stated that they are looking for the top talent from all over the world.

Unlike many other organizations, McDonalds gives people the option of going to college where they want to. Lisa Schumacher is the director of education strategies for McDonalds. She stated that McDonalds wanted to offer benefits that were different from its competitors. She wanted to give people more of a choice.


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