Graduation season is in the air and McDonald’s New York Tri-State has a lot to celebrate.
Thirty-four local managers and manager trainees completed the ‘English Under the Arches’ (EUA) last week through McDonald’s national education initiative Archways to Opportunity. EUA is an English language learning (ELL) course for non-English native speaking employees.
Two graduation ceremonies were held in Bridgeport, Connecticut and Iselin, New Jersey last Thursday, June 16 and Friday, June 17, respectively, in honor of their employees–ranging in age from their early 20s to late 40s. The graduates are immigrants from Mexico, and Central and South America.
“I was able to learn and practice more English through the ‘English Under the Arches’ classes,” said Dora Garcia, 40, a crew trainer and one of 19 graduates recognized at the Bridgeport graduation. “I’m so grateful to my supervisors for believing in me and giving me this chance.”
EUA courses are offered free of charge to eligible McDonald’s employees and it teaches students the English they need to communicate effectively and confidently with customers and staff on a daily basis. Employees who are selected to participate have been identified as high-potential managers who would progress rapidly with the aid of language training.
The Iselin graduation featured 15 graduates and special guests including Woodbridge Township Councilwoman Lizbeth DeJesus, and 2016 Ray Kroc Award winner Robert Cataraso.
“’English Under the Arches’ is a fantastic program that gives our employees additional resources to further their education and advance their careers,” said David Singelyn, Jr., a McDonald’s franchisee with six EUA graduates. “My managers are now more confident when they communicate with customers and crew. That not only benefits them at work but in their personal lives as well.”
“I’m so thankful to my supervisors and franchisee for giving me this chance to improve my English,” said Luisa Rodriguez, 42, a manager from Plainfield, NJ. “It’s exciting to graduate.”
A third and final EUA graduation ceremony for this month will be held next Monday, June 27 in Union City, New Jersey.