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After One Year, McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity Enrolls More Than 5,000 People Seeking Education and Skills

Warren Buffett commends McDonald’s for “ensuring its workers have the tools to succeed throughout their careers and that in turn makes our entire economy stronger.”

McDonald’s today announced that Archways to Opportunity, its workforce education program, has enrolled more than 5,000 people since its creation one year ago. The program provides assistance in earning a high school diploma, receiving tuition assistance for college classes and helping learning English.
 
“Archways to Opportunity was created so those at McDonald’s could attain the dream of finishing high school, going to college to earn a degree and advancing their careers without being held back by high costs or a lack of access,” said Steve Easterbrook, CEO of McDonald’s. “There is no better investment than one in the people who bring our brand to life for customers every day in our restaurants.”
 
Since April 2015, McDonald’s has provided millions of dollars in tuition assistance for eligible employees to achieve their high school diplomas and college degrees. In addition, the company has seen the following participation:
  • 819 restaurant employees awarded tuition assistance for high school
  • 3,346 restaurant employees awarded tuition assistance for college
  • 872 graduated from English Under the Arches
  • 308 completed advising sessions
Archways to Opportunity provides a range of opportunities with programs all designed to meet employees at their point of need. All of the following programs are available to both company employees and the men and women employed by participating independent Owner/Operators in the United States. 
  • High School Completion – The nationally-accredited Career Online High School program that is offered to eligible restaurant managers and crew to obtain a high school diploma at no cost.
  • College Access and Completion
    • Tuition Assistance – Provides upfront tuition assistance for college courses at higher education institutions accredited by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • ACE – McDonald’s management training curriculum carries American Council on Education (ACE) college credit recommendations that can be transferred to many two- and four-year colleges.
    • College Credit Connection Program – McDonald’s has partnered with six colleges that map out credit recommendations into specific courses and offer discounted tuition.
  • Advising Services – Advising programs with experts help employees identify the best educational and career route to achieve their goals. The “Virtual Advisor” app helps calculates American Council on Education (ACE) college credit recommendations and offers college placement advice.
  • English Under the Arches – Teaches managers and crew the English they need to communicate effectively with colleagues, customers, and in their daily life.
“The progress McDonald’s has made with Archways to Opportunity will have a profound impact on the lives of so many of their employees,” said Warren E. Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway. “By providing free high school completion courses, assistance with college tuition, and academic advising, McDonald’s is ensuring its workers have the tools to succeed throughout their careers and that in turn makes our entire economy stronger.”
 
McDonald’s wants to help solve the nationwide education challenge in the United States by providing educational opportunities for eligible employees. Archways to Opportunity was designed with the understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to success when it comes to workforce education.
America is facing an uphill battle concerning education. Here are some of the facts:
 
  • Nearly 40 million American working adults don’t have a High School diploma.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with a high school education earn nearly 38% more than those without one.
  • By 2020, 65% of jobs will require some college education or above.
  • Right now, more than half of middle class students who start college fail to earn a bachelor's degree within six to eight years. While the reasons behind leaving college vary, about one-third of middle class students who dropped out told the Department of Education they left due to financial considerations.
“At McDonald’s, we are committed to helping people further their education and achieve their dreams. To help those who work both at company-owned and independently franchised restaurants, we created Archways to Opportunity, a comprehensive education strategy with multiple programs that gives people an opportunity to grow and learn – no matter where they are on their journey,” said Global Chief People Officer David Fairhurst. “Some of the best people in the world work here. And whether they stay for a year or for their entire career, we believe in investing in their future.”

Arianna Fewkes is a crew trainer in South Dakota and a hard-working mother of two. She began working on her high school diploma through McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity in July 2015. Her dedication to her job and school work allowed her to complete the program in just six months – all while working eight hour days and raising her two young daughters. "It meant a lot to me that my company can actually help people further their education, and then actually help them go further in life,” Fewkes said during her graduation celebration, dressed in cap and gown. 
 
“We believe Archways to Opportunity allows employees to work toward their goals at their own pace,” said Rob Lauber, Global Chief Learning Officer. “We are proud to have created a program that meets our people wherever they might be on life’s journey. Offering that flexibility was paramount as we wanted to ensure we were creating a program that worked not just for some employees but for all of them.”
 
For more information about McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program please visit www.ArchwaysToOpportunity.com
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