The McDonald’s family of restaurants in the New York Tri-State Area kicked off its annual Employee Appreciation Week Monday night by taking over 400 of them out to a ballgame.
For the second year in a row, Citi Field hosted McDonald’s Employee Appreciation Night where local restaurant crew, managers and franchisees came together to root for the home team and celebrate the spirit of teamwork. Before the Mets and Braves took to the diamond, select employees were recognized during an on-field ceremony that honored the hardworking men and women of the Golden Arches.
The five chosen to represent McDonald’s during the pre-game ceremony –Debbie Ann Martin, 34, Shane Constantine, 23, William De La Cruz, 44, Tavin Johnson, 21, and Luisa Rodriguez, 42—are also currently enrolled in McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity, an education program that allows employees to earn their high school diploma, receive college tuition assistance or learn English.
Constantine, a crew person from the Bronx, described his experience, “To be able to walk on the field was a whole new perspective. I’m super thankful to McDonald’s for the opportunity.”
The New York City College of Technology student is equally grateful for the financial support he receives through Archways’ tuition assistance program. “The help definitely allows me to balance work with my studies,” said the communication design major.
Pleasantly surprised by his inclusion in Monday night’s festivities was New Jersey manager De La Cruz, a student in Archways’ English learning program.
“I never thought that taking English classes with McDonald’s would lead me to this kind of opportunity,” said the Union City resident. “I was so excited to be on the field with everyone, especially with my son watching from the stands!”
Since launching in April 2015, more than 5,000 restaurant employees nationwide have enrolled in Archways to Opportunity and more than 45% of local restaurants have an employee utilizing the program.
Paul Hendel, a franchisee and Co-Op President of McDonald’s New York Metro, believes these initiatives underscore the Golden Arches’ ongoing commitment to its employees.
“As someone who started his career with McDonald’s over 40 years ago, I can tell you that this is a company that goes above and beyond when it comes to celebrating its employees,” commented Hendel. “National programs like Archways to Opportunity further demonstrate our dedication to their long term success.”
McDonald’s franchisees throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will be celebrating Employee Appreciation Week by arranging in-store events and other special programs for their managers and crew people.