RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney visited a local McDonald’s Wednesday to highlight the chain’s summer hiring initiative.
Mayor Stoney spent his morning at the McDonald’s location on 6808 Midlothian Turnpike. The mayor wants to encourage residents to take advantage of the opportunities McDonald’s offers such as its Archways to Opportunity educational program.
“It’s our hope that they find employers like McDonald’s that will also offer additional pathways as well to make them more successful in life,” Mayor Stoney said.
The program started in 2015 and has helped over 38,000 eligible employees across the United States achieve their educational goals.
Keita Thomas a General Manager at a local McDonald’s said benefited from the Archways to Opportunity program.
Thomas says it’s an exhilarating feeling to be able to put yourself in a position to get a better education.
For more than 15 years, Thomas has called McDonald’s his work home.
“So I’ve kind of worked every position in the store,” Thomas said. “Every job, everything that needs to be done.”
McDonald’s is hoping Richmond residents will take advantage of the program like Keita did.
“You can get your high school diploma 100% free. I have an associates degree and I’m taking my bachelor’s degree right now and today I’ve haven’t had to come out of my pocket for anything,” Thomas said. “They even supplied me with a laptop.”
Laurie Barnes, owner and operator of the 6808 Midlothian location says the company even offers an English learning program.
“English Under the Arches which is a very cool program which is English as a second language,” Barnes said. “And that actually happens in the restaurants or in the training centers locally.”
Recently, Mcdonald’s restaurants in the Richmond area announced they intended to hire an additional 650 people during the summer months.
“People feel like oh I don’t have a college degree or I don’t have a high school diploma so where am I going to work? Well, you can come to McDonald’s and get both,” Thomas said.
Eligible restaurant employees could receive up to $2,500 each year for tuition assistance for any accredited four-year university, community college or trade school in the U.S. Full-time managers can receive up to $3,000 each year.
Since the program started 26 Richmond McDonald’s employees have participated in the program.
McDonald’s managers told 8News those looking to be hired can apply online. But they say it never hurts to just stop into a location and learn about open job opportunities.