Local officials are lauding a national program that is putting hundreds of people to work in Rochester.
Mayor Lovely Warren joined employees from McDonald's to announce details of the Archways to Opportunity program.
Through the program, independent franchisees are expected to hire over 8,400 workers statewide this fall, including 230 in the Rochester area. Most McDonald's restaurants are run by independent owner/operators.
Warren says Archways offers an opportunity for employees to earn a high school diploma, learn English as a second language, and receive up to $2,500 in college tuition assistance.
“Someone being able to not only work, but also get support to go on to college, and tuition assistance to help with books,” Warren said. “I mean, that's life-changing."
Susan Garrett works for a local McDonald's, and she said the program helped her after financial troubles prevented her from pursuing her career goals.
“I just applied, and I didn't know I got in until a couple of days later, I got a check in the mail and they just paid for my whole tuition, which I was very grateful for and very relieved," she said.
Garrett is attending classes at Monroe Community College.
So far, McDonald's has given out over $5 million in tuition assistance and supported more than 2,000 restaurant workers in New York.
The chain is also collaborating with AARP to broaden its employer base and align employer and candidate job needs.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren talks about the opportunities through Archways: