McDonald’s celebrates first class of non-English speaking employees

Members of the first graduation class of McDonald’s English Under the Archways course celebrate during a ceremony held last week to honor the class of 2017.

McDonald’s celebrates first class of non-English speaking employees
February 02
08:00 2017

Photo by Tevin Stinson




Seventeen local McDonald’s employees took a break to celebrate last week as they became the first graduating class of English Under the Arches, an English course designed specifically to help employees advance in their careers and life.

For seven weeks, both managers and crew members from restaurants across Forsyth County took English classes during paid work hours to improve their English skills and for some, take the first step toward a high school diploma and even a college degree. The course, which was taught through a combination of online and classroom instruction session, falls under the larger Archways to Opportunity program that gives McDonald’s employees the opportunity to grow and develop.

As he stood before the class of 2017 and others in attendance during the ceremony last Wednesday, Alfredo Rodriguez thanked McDonald’s for giving him and others the opportunity to further their education.

Rodriguez, who works on the maintenance crew at the McDonald’s in Clemmons, said, he now feels a lot more confidence at work and at home.

“Now that I’ve finished the course, I’m now looking to get my GED,” said Rodriguez. “I feel a lot better about myself. This has given me a lot of confidence.”

After the ceremony, Doris Morgan bubbled over with joy as she mingled with her classmates.

“This is very big. My heart is still beating fast,” smiled Morgan. “If you learn, you grow, so this is very important.”

Following the success of the first course, McDonald’s is now looking to add a second and third course. Sherrie Alcon, one of three managers who helped bring the course to Forsyth County, said after going out to restaurants and talking to people they felt like it was the right thing to do.

“We’re committed to doing this and I can just feel how this is impacting our employees,” said Alcon. “It has just been awesome to see and hear them grow. It makes me feel good so I know it makes them feel good.”

Carrie Maekins, another manager, said they take a lot of pride in the growth of their employees. Maekins mentioned, “Knowledge is power and that is never going to change no matter what it is. This is one huge step in making sure our employees are more confident.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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