Talent is essential for success. This belief is one of the core tenets of the McDonald’s brand, and for over fifty years this belief has been a driving force behind the training and education programs that we offer to our employees.
Our broad commitment to education includes programs such as accredited courses offered through Hamburger University, which was founded in 1961 to provide a unique management curriculum now taught in 28 languages; a range of scholarships; college partnerships; and English Under the Arches, an English language learning program specifically designed for McDonald’s managers and manager trainees. By offering these opportunities, we aim to support both the personal and the professional growth of our employees.
At the 2013 CGI America Meeting, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet ed2go staff in the Workforce Development Working Group and learn about the important work they are doing around high school completion. ed2go provides online continuing education courses through a network of more than 2,100 colleges and universities. Their 2013 Commitment to Action with Cengage Learning—an educational content, technology, and services company—aims to provide high school completion to 200 current and prospective employees through partnerships with Career Online High School (COHS) and the Smart Horizons Career Online Education (SHCOE) school district. McDonald’s found common ground in this work, and decided to join as a partner on this commitment.
At McDonald’s, our relationship with Cengage Learning and ed2go is coming to life through a pilot program that targets 50 restaurant managers in our company-owned restaurants. Representing a part of our broader education strategy, this commitment gives us the opportunity to provide a resource for restaurant managers in our company-owned restaurants who are interested in pursuing a high school diploma.
Participating in the Workforce Development Working Group again at the 2014 CGI America Meeting provided another opportunity to connect and check in with ed2go, Cengage Learning, and the other partners on this commitment. Each partner had an inspiring story of why they’re committed to this work, their successes, and their challenges so far. I found this information critical as we begin to roll-out our pilot program. I had the chance to connect with the CEO of our local Workforce Investment Board and brainstorm ways we could work together to help those restaurant managers who might need additional support to finish high school.
I also had the opportunity to understand how similar companies are communicating the program to their employees, and how we can build comparable momentum while getting the pilot program off the ground. Most importantly, I gained insights into ways we can scale and sustain the program once we move out of the pilot phase. At the same time, I think each of the partners—including me—encouraged the ed2go and Cengage Learning staff to think more boldly about their work and their ability to make an even greater impact.
Overall, I was inspired by the level of passion and commitment that each CGI America attendee brought to the table. I walked away with a renewed energy to provide restaurant employees with even more ways to further their education.
In June of 2014, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton hosted the fourth meeting of CGI America, an annual event focused on finding solutions that promote economic recovery in the United States. For more information, visit cgiamerica.org.