McDonald’s restaurant owners and Rochester City Mayor Lovely A. Warren announced on Thursday morning two new recruitment tools that may help the restaurants hire about 230 new employees this fall.
McDonald’s is expanding its Archways to Opportunities program that supports employees attending college, completing high school diploma requirements, or learning English. At the same time, it has partnered with the American Association of Retired Persons to be able to tap into new hires 50 years and older.
The local announcement was made at the McDonald’s restaurant at Upper Falls Boulevard and North Clinton Avenue, one of the busiest McDonald’s restaurants in the Rochester area.
“This is about much more than jobs; it’s about an opportunity,” Warren said. “That’s life-changing.”
Warren later donned a visor and apron to serve some customers going through the restaurant’s drive-through, which accounts for about three-quarters of that shop’s business.
Archways to Opportunity, launched in 2015, provides $2,500 a year for educational expenses, offers educational advisers, coaches employees trying to earn an online high school diploma, and makes English language classes available.
The company has changed its eligibility requirements so employees can access tuition assistance after just 90 days of employment instead of nine months, and dropped its minimum hourly requirement to 15 hours a week instead of 20.
Susan Garrett, a 20-year-old Monroe Community College student who works at the Baytown McDonald’s in Penfield, said the Archways program helped her pay for tuition and some of her books. She is in her second year of nursing studies at MCC and has worked for McDonald’s for a year, while also working at Wegmans, the city resident said.
Glen Jeter, the owner and operator of the Upper Falls McDonald’s, said he recently approved an application for the first Upper Falls employee to access the program.
At the same time, the McDonald’s corporation recently completed the AARP process required to advertise jobs through that organization’s channels, said Louis Buono, who operates 12 restaurants in the Rochester area. McDonald’s offers work for people who to return to work after retiring, and for those who never retired but want to continue to work into their older years, he said.
Up to 8 percent of his work force of 650 employees fall into the AARP age group, Buono said.
“Some have worked 15 years or more years,” he said. “And a bunch of employees came back and need part-time work.”
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