- McDonald’s have allocated $150 million into the Archways to Opportunity program.
- The funds came as a result of the lowered income tax rate, a change implemented by the Trump administration.
To maintain an orderly society, people must first be educated. However, in today’s society, everything has become a business deal, including education. A proper tertiary education in the States these days can lead to a lifelong debt for many. It seems as though people are paying ten to thousand hundred dollars in exchange for a diploma.
All across the world, scholarships and grants are highly demanded by students who have demonstrated academic excellence. Unfortunately, the astronomical tuition costs have made it impossible for them to further pursue it. Hence, those who are in possession of the world’s collective wealth should take it upon them to help. For that reason, large multinational companies should vow to endorse and advocate for education. McDonald’s Corp. is one of the praiseworthy company that is headed in this direction. On Wednesday, the firm has announced its plan to allocate a total sum of $150 million to help its staffs pursue a tertiary education.
The firm will place the $150 million into its education program entitled Archways to Opportunity. This program aims to provide financial aid to employees who are pursuing an education at community colleges, universities or trade schools. They also provide advising services with regards to education as well as English language courses. According to McDonald’s, this generous assignment came from the reduction in corporate income tax rate. It is one of the terms in the new tax law in the United States, implemented by the Trump administration.
Regular staffs are permitted up to $2,500 per annum for tuition fee, whereas supervisors can receive up to $3,000. This may vary based on eligibility.
Melissa Kersey, McDonald’s U.S. Chief Human Resources Officer, has shed light on another individual who has benefitted from this education program. The program has successfully taught said employee the English language, which in turn led to a promotion. In fact, the employee was promoted thrice within a year and a half and has become the perfect example of the advantages of the program to other employees at her branch.
“When the tax law came into play, it helped us accelerate and move faster and look at ways to invest even more money than we had originally planned,” the CHRO clarifies.
On top of the reduction in the income tax rate within the United States, the company has also taken into account the feedback received from crew members. They have discussed about the additional incentives that the company offers to employees that could brighten their future. For that reason, McDonald’s eventually decided to allocate the surplus into the Archways to Opportunity program.
McDonald’s updated the benchmark to apply in the start of the year. Since then, there has already been a remarkable ten percent increase in the utilization of the education program.
Renee Draves, a Lansing resident, became an employee of McDonald’s when she was only sixteen years old, as a crew member. That was over forty years ago. Today, she runs eight restaurants in Battle Creek as well as in the Lansing area. Draves has openly expressed her support for the Archways to Opportunity program since its conception three years ago.
Draves has explained, “I knew, because I am also a mother of two college students, how much college costs and how much a good education can change your life”. She has granted $60,000 in tuition to over fifty employees since 2015.
The company has updated the requirements to apply recently. Instead of nine months, employees are now able to apply within three months of employment. In addition, the firm has decreased the minimum hours required per week by five, from initial hours of twenty. In conjunction with this, Draves is now encouraging more staffs to apply and has expressed her delight in speaking to them.
“I cannot wait to have that conversation. I always believed and am certainly an advocate for McDonald’s being the best first job. If this doesn’t solidify it, I don’t know what does,” she remarked.
Another person who has seen the benefits of this program is Dominique Sumerix. Sumerix was just another regular employee, much like how Draves was. She then became the department manager at McDonald’. At the meantime, she is attending Kellogg Community College in pursuance of an accounting degree with the financial aid from this program.
“I manage everything from the schedules we create and have our employees work and all of the training involved with that,” Sumerix explains.
“It’s meant a lot, it gave me a really big opportunity to go to school and be able to work full time and be able to afford it. It’s been really helpful when it comes to paying for books. A lot more people should take advantage of it. I love what I do, I love my job. It helps a lot be able to do what I love to do and be able to pursue other interests and further my education.”
Sumerix has first received financial aid in the Spring semester. She has recently expressed her desire for further assistance in order to further pursue cost accounting at the Davenport University. She has also said that she would continue to be an employee at McDonald’s even after she completes her undergraduate studies.
Featured image via flickr / Mike Mozart