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America’s Summer Job Has Also Become America’s Summer School

July 13, 2016

McDonald’s expands Archways to Opportunity eligibility and offers new training program

America’s Summer Job Has Also Become America’s Summer School


July 13, 2016

For thousands of teenagers, college students and other young people, working in a McDonald’s restaurant is a great summer job. It gives them the opportunity to earn some money, learn important job skills and work with their friends.

But for the first time, America’s Summer Job has also become America’s Summer School.

Today, McDonald’s is making it easier for people to become eligible for Archways to Opportunity, its workforce education program. Employees who work a collective nine months in their local McDonald’s restaurant now have an opportunity to receive tuition assistance for the college of their choice or work toward earning an accredited high school diploma. This policy change allows employees that work in a participating McDonald’s restaurant on a seasonal basis to qualify, including students who work several summer seasons during high school.

The company is moving to a more flexible eligibility structure to make it easier for people to advance their education. Previously, employees were required to work nine consecutive months in a row to qualify for certain programs. Now people can set their own pace on their education journey. Employees in participating restaurants also have the opportunity to sign up to learn English as a second language or work with an advisor on day one of the job. Since it was announced in 2015, as of June 2016 more than 6,800 people have taken advantage of Archways to Opportunity.

“We’re focused on empowering employees to achieve their dreams. Education and skill development is a critical part of working at a McDonald’s restaurant. The opportunity to learn and develop valuable workforce skills like team work, customer service, accountability and critical thinking help new hires prepare for the future,” said Juan Marcos, U.S. chief people officer. “Employees tell us they like the flexibility of the job and the opportunity to learn and grow. By expanding the eligibility of Archways to Opportunity, we are able to invest in employees who only work during certain periods of the year, like the summer.”

Summer is the biggest hiring season of the year for teens (aged 16-24) for McDonald’s company-owned restaurants and thousands of first-time workers across the U.S. will receive their first job training in a McDonald’s restaurant. In fact, based on hiring trends in company-owned restaurants, we expect that more than 130,000 teens will be hired to work in a McDonald’s restaurant this summer.

Even if they are just working at their McDonald’s for the summer, workforce development and education is a priority.

Increasing eligibility to the Archways to Opportunity program is one way that McDonald’s is working to help new and current employees advance their educations. Nationwide, more than 40 million workers don’t have a high school education, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Through Archways to Opportunity, McDonald’s is helping solve this nationwide education challenge. We’ve designed Archways to Opportunity with the understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to success when it comes to education.

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:

  • 1,149 restaurant employees awarded tuition assistance for high school
  • 4,001 restaurant employees awarded tuition assistance for college
  • 1,176 graduated from English Under the Arches
  • 535 completed advising sessions


Not only does McDonald’s invest in education assistance, but the company is focused on improving its world-class training by giving employees the workforce skills they need to advance, whether that’s with their McDonald’s or elsewhere in the future.

The company also is announcing that it is modernizing the optional training programs it offers to the restaurants to be more flexible, engaging and technology enabled. As a first step, the company has launched the new Crew Development Program (CDP) as a reinvented approach to crew training materials. CDP offers a simplified curriculum and a modernized way to deliver crew training in the restaurant. The new CDP enables shoulder-to-shoulder training, including training tips, videos, and games, allowing learning to take place on the restaurant floor in real time through tablets. Not only is the new program more engaging and informative, it is expected to reduce training time by 50 percent.

“We’re constantly looking for ways to improve our processes and offer world-class training to employees in the restaurant. The Crew Development Program is a first step in our efforts to modernize the training McDonald’s offers,” added Marcos. “This new program will be more effective and efficient, giving new employees the opportunity to learn the ropes through hands-on training in front of individual stations. For us, there is no better investment than one in the people who bring our brand to life for customers every day in our restaurants.”

McDonald’s is committed to providing world-class training and opportunities so that a job in a local restaurant can be one of the best experiences an employee can have to learn important jobs skills, earn some extra money, get help with education – and have fun.

For more information about McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program and career opportunities, please visit