Break rooms in McDonald’s restaurants across the country are being transformed into classrooms—part of a grand workforce-training experiment that is showing how investments in the future of your workforce can pay significant dividends, even for a corporate giant.
A few years ago, local owners of McDonald’s franchises realized that some of their most promising workers, particularly Latinos, were hitting a roadblock in their advancement because they were lacking in English-language skills. Some restaurant owners publicized English as Second Language classes in their area, while others offered to pay expenses, but participation and results were spotty.
So Betsy Clark, McDonald’s director of education strategies, set out to find a language-training model that could be deployed successfully at McDonald’s locations nationally. After consulting with ESL experts around the country, she helped design and launch English Under the Arches, a language-acquisition program tailored for franchise owners and their employees.