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Carol Dover: Florida’s summer job

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

School’s out for the summer and for many Florida families that means trips to our pristine beaches and world-class attractions, and, for some Florida youth, it also means finding that perfect summer job.

For teenagers, college students and other young people, a summer job gives them the opportunity to earn some money and learn important job skills that will make them successful now and in the future.  At the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, we are proud that many of our members provide those valuable summer jobs. Florida’s fantastic restaurants, hotels and attractions provide so many incredible learning opportunities. A great example is McDonald’s.

McDonald’s is leading the way in summer and youth hiring and, in fact, it is a peak hiring season for the company nationwide.  Based on this expected hiring trend in company-owned restaurants, McDonald’s anticipates that approximately 130,000 teens will be hired to work in McDonald’s company-owned restaurants and independent franchises between the months of June and August. Many of those summer hires are located right here in Florida. And, during the summer, McDonald’s U.S. restaurants hire nearly 30 percent more teenagers than any other period throughout the year.

As part of those summer jobs, McDonald’s is proud to offer tools, like world-class training that equips employees with valuable skills that will serve them well in life and wherever their careers take them – skills like teamwork, reliability, customer service, accountability and leadership. Starting at a McDonald’s restaurant can help take people where they want to go.

While summer hiring and youth employment initiatives by McDonald’s are impressive, the company is much more than that, as the organization is dedicated to helping their employees reach their full potential – no matter where they are on life’s journey.

To help maximize that potential, McDonald’s offers educational opportunities to put employees on the path to success through their Archways to Opportunity program, so now McDonald’s isn’t just a summer job, it’s also a summer school.  This unique program offers multiple opportunities that give people a chance to grow and learn, including access to workforce training, with the opportunity to earn college credits; college tuition assistance; help with finishing high school, allowing employee to earn a certified high school diploma; and, ultimately a path to a successful career.

Moreover, now, McDonald’s is expanding a 2015 benefit that helps their employees finish high school and afford college. Previously, those benefits were only available if an employee worked at a participating McDonald’s for nine consecutive months. Recognizing that some people work summers at their restaurants, McDonald’s recently announced that they are expanding the eligibility criteria so that returning employees who work a collective nine months in their local participating McDonald’s restaurant have an opportunity to receive tuition assistance for college or high school.

McDonald’s has proven time and again that it is truly not just about the quality food and beverages they serve, but that it is about the people that make up the organization.  So, next time you stop for a meal at McDonald’s, be it on your summer road trip or on your way to work, rest assured that you will be served by a crew member who is receiving job training, advancing their career or taking advantage of educational opportunities.

On behalf of FRLA, I am thrilled to support wonderful businesses, like McDonald’s, that provide great summer job opportunities for our youth.

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Carol Dover is president and CEO of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

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