- McDonald's and Indiana's Ivy Tech Community College announced Jan. 9 a partnership between 300 McDonald's restaurants and 18 of the school's campuses.
- Ivy Tech will make available "crosswalk credits" to McDonald's workers, providing them a way to learn on the job. This will allow them to earn a degree faster, according to the press release. Ivy Tech counselors will help McDonald's employees determine which trainings and experiences can count as credits.
- "This is the exact kind of forward-thinking partnership that enables Indiana to develop our skilled and ready workforce," Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said in the release. "The combined strength of these two great entities will allow thousands of students to pursue their dreams and simultaneously help keep Indiana's economy moving full steam ahead."
This is not the first move McDonald's has made to advance the education of its workers. In fact, restaurant crew at corporate-run McDonald's, floor supervisors, shift manager trainees, primary maintenance, and other part-time employees are eligible for $2,500 in tuition assistance through McDonald's Archways to Opportunity. Workers can access the benefit if they are an employee of McDonald's for at least 90 cumulative days, work an average of at least 15 hours per week and earn "significant performance" or better in performance ratings throughout their course or program.
McDonald's clarifies on its Archways website that its franchisees may set differing employment policies, including those dictating pay and benefits. "Most McDonald's restaurants are operated by independent franchisees who are independent employers, and set their own employment policies and practices, including pay and benefits for the people working in their restaurants," it says in fine print beneath a graphic cataloguing its education benefits.
McDonald's said it has awarded $63 million in high school and college tuition assistance. More than 27,000 employees have received college tuition assistance, the restaurant said.
Many businesses and educational institutions are partnering to advance worker skill sets and bulk up talent pipelines. Perhaps a more common model is one used within the frame of the apprenticeship. Iowa, for example, is home to 750 registered apprenticeship programs. To create the apprenticeships, employers collaborate with Iowa community colleges to suss out candidates and outfit their program with relevant classroom learning. In return, employers receive workers who become potential long-term employees with the training, skills and knowledge the employer needs.