INDIANAPOLIS — McDonald's restaurants in central Indiana are teaming up with Ivy Tech to help make college more affordable for employees.
A new statewide alliance announced Thursday will offer training for the future workforce that will be shared at more than 300 McDonald's locations and 18 Ivy Tech campuses across the state.
Through the McDonald's Archways to Opportunity education program, restaurant employees who work a minimum of 90 days at 15 hours per week will be eligible to receive tuition assistance up to $2,500 per year. Managers can receive up to $3,000 per year.
Naomi Craven is one of thousands of McDonald's employees in Indiana who are taking advantage of the company's tuition assistance program.
"I really needed that money to graduate to get my last semester in. So that's why I got in there," Craven said. "I was shocked when I got the check and they actually sent it to me. They paid for it and it was wonderful."
The program has provided $1.2 million in tuition assistance to Indiana students over the past five years. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said the new McDonalds' new partnership with Ivy Tech will make a huge difference for people.
"You have the public sector, both the state, Ivy Tech or institutions of higher learning in the private sector come together in this partnership. This is a not so secret recipe for success," Holcomb said.
Ivy Tech will have counselors at each location to work directly with McDonald's employees. They will help determine which of their McDonald's training and work experiences may transfer credits which they can then apply toward their degree. Managers can earn up to $3,000 per year in tuition assistance.
The college will also offer crosswalk credits to McDonald's employees for some on-the-job training and classes and individualized counseling to help them earn their degrees faster.
"Our students, for us, 75% of our Ivy Tech students work. Which is why this is a perfect partnership," Ivy Tech president Sue Ellspersmann said. "Knowing our students need to work, but in this case, only have to work 15 hours per week, that is very different. Most employers would require you to work full-time to gain tuition assistance."
Both McDonald's and Ivy Tech expect the new partnership to also result in new employees and students who will look to both further their education and ultimately achieve their dreams.
"For the kids who can't afford it, it's going to give them an opportunity to afford it," Craven said. "I was one of those people I never thought I would be able to go, but then I did and I am very excited that I am."
For more details visit the McDonald's Archways to Opportunity page on the Ivy Tech website.