Eleven students from the McDonald's Archways to Opportunities program in Central Oregon graduated from its English as a Second Language (ESL) program, English Under the Arches
(EUA). The employees graduating have also been promoted within the organization to positions as high as supervisor.
“This program is so valuable to both our employees who are participating in the English Under the Arches and our organization,” said Nanette Bittler, local McDonald’s Owner Operator. “EUA not only teaches our staff how to speak English, but it gives them skills to be leaders in the restaurant and the confidence to grow and take on more responsibility.”
EUA teaches employees the English they need to communicate effectively and confidently with customers and staff every day. The 22-week course is for immigrant employees who are at crew and manager levels. It is provided by the local owner operators, completely free and employees are paid for their participation. The program offers courses on speaking, reading, writing and listening.
“Never in my life could I have imagined I would be here today,” said Juan Guzman, EUA graduate and current McDonald’s supervisor. “I never thought I would wake up, put on a tie and go into a professional job with these types of responsibilities. This job and this program have given me the ability to fulfill more than my dreams and to give my family a life I never thought I was capable of and for that, I am so thankful."
Guzman knows first-hand what it’s like to not know English in the workplace. As an immigrant from Mexico, Juan started a job working for the Bittler Organization, but spoke zero English. As a result, he worked mainly in the kitchen. Through hard work and practicing English with his co-workers, Juan was eventually promoted to General Manager, but because his responsibilities increased, he was encouraged to attend the English Under the Arches program. As a result, Juan was promoted to Supervisor.
English Under the Arches is a component of Archways to Opportunity™, McDonald’s overarching education strategy that promotes workforce education to both support the business and ensure its employees’ success and achievement. The program offerings also include free high school completion, college tuition assistance and free advising services.
About McDonald's of Oregon and SW Washington
McDonald’s of Oregon and SW Washington is comprised of 143 franchised restaurants owned and operated by 27 local franchisees.