In another step forward for the upskilling movement, McDonald’s announced it will allocate $150 million over five years to its global Archways to Opportunity education program, which provides eligible employees the chance to earn a high school diploma, receive upfront college tuition assistance, access free education advising services, and learn English as a second language.
“McDonald’s is making it easier for workers to access education benefits and they are making those benefits more generous. The fact that they are extending the Career Online High School program and their college advisory services to family members of workers can be game changing for some families,” said Jaime Fall, director of Upskill America at the Aspen Institute. “Plus, paying the tuition up-front for workers instead of through a reimbursement process allows far more workers to take advantage of the program. These are all very positive advancements to their Archways to Opportunity program.”
According to the announcement, the investment will provide almost 400,000 employees with access to the program as the company will also lower eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment and drop weekly shift minimums from 20 hours to 15 hours. McDonald’s will also extend some education benefits to employees’ family members.
The decision by McDonald’s—which has been a supporter of UpSkill America’s work since the initiative’s launch in 2015—follows similar announcements by other companies this year. Already in the first few months of 2018, major employers like Starbucks, Lyft, Manpower, and Brinker International (owner of Chili’s and Maggiano’s restaurants) have all unveiled their own commitments to employee training and advancement. We are happy to see McDonald’s build on this growing trend and hope other businesses are encouraged to join the upskilling movement.
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UpSkill America is an employer-led movement to expand opportunity for America’s workers and allow our economy and communities to thrive. To learn more, visit upskillamerica.org and sign up to receive new resources and announcements.