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STLCC Forms Education Partnership with McDonald's

July 26, 2016

Archways to Opportunity logo

It’s a partnership as natural as hamburgers and french fries.

St. Louis Community College today announced a formal education partnership with McDonald’s of St. Louis and the Metro East to help food service employees further their education and achieve their goals, regardless of whether they remain with the company.

The partnership is part of McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity workforce education program.

McDonald’s is committed to helping people grow no matter where they are in their journey and STLCC, which is the largest community college district in Missouri, provides a quality education at an affordable price. Together they want to expand access to education to as many people as possible.

"Employees come to McDonald’s restaurants for a variety of reasons," said Colleen Schoendienst, a local McDonald’s restaurant owner during the announcement at McDonald’s at 9131 West Florissant. "Some come for first jobs and relevant experience. Others come for part-time jobs to earn extra money. And some are aspiring restaurant owners and managers who come to learn the ropes, unlock their potential and launch their careers. Wherever they are in their personal journey, we want to help them make it happen."

The partnership allows eligible area McDonald’s employees to take on-campus and/or online courses at the same cost as in-district students ($106/credit hour); receive a $500 book scholarship; and work with an academic advisor trained specifically to assist them.

Eligible employees must have worked at McDonald’s for at least nine months for 20 hours/week. Under Archways to Opportunity, crew members will receive $700 per year in tuition assistance and managers, $1,050 a year. Managers who are certified swing managers, department managers and general managers will receive $5,250 a year.

Since the average cost of a community college class is about $350, McDonald’s will cover the cost of two classes a year for eligible crew and three classes a year for eligible managers.

"With our affordable price, 15 college-transfer options and 100-plus career programs, together with McDonald’s tuition assistance, we can help employees get the educational background they need to achieve their goals," said Jeff L. Pittman, Ph.D., STLCC chancellor.

Archways to Opportunity was developed based on employee feedback. It meets employees where they are to help them on their journey – whether it’s completing a college degree, learning English or finishing high school.

Earlier this month, McDonald’s announced it’s making it easier for people to advance their educational journey by changing the eligibility requirement for Archways to Opportunity. Previously, employees returning to work seasonally, such as students working each summer, were not eligible for tuition assistance because their three-month employment did not roll into the next calendar year. Now, returning employees who work a collective nine months in their McDonald’s restaurant have an opportunity to receive tuition assistance for college or high school. This allows seasonal employees to qualify for tuition assistance, including students who work the summer during high school.

To receive college tuition assistance, employees must submit a request and upon approval, they receive a check for tuition funds made out to their school. This allows them to register for classes and receive funds from McDonald’s before their tuition bills are due.

Since April 2015, McDonald’s has provided approximately $5.4 million in tuition assistance for eligible employees to obtain their high school and college degrees. This investment in people also is an investment in the customer experience.

"Archways to Opportunity strengthens talent, enhances opportunities for crew and brings improvements to our restaurants," Rockwell said. "Thanks to our partnership with St. Louis Community College, we look forward to helping people and improving our customer experience."

About McDonald's of St. Louis and the Metro East
McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with over 36,000 locations in over 100 countries. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald's 160 St. Louis restaurants are independently owned and operated by local businessmen and women. For information about local promotions and the company's commitment to the Greater St. Louis area community, and more, visit mcdonaldsSTL.com.