Monday, June 27, 2005

Education – McDonald’s “McDees deserves McAaas”

McDonald’s is truly an American Icon, while it somehow is able to stay status quo in it’s history, it continues to reinvent itself to keep up with Middle America expectations when it comes to food selections and what is needed in the community they serve.

The jobs at McDonald’s are mostly dead end and low paying for high school students. To seniors, its added income, a place to meet new friends and provide value to a generation that honors all work as golden if it’s done with pride and integrity.

McDonald’s does have a good career path for the young, but it comes with some sacrifice, some schooling and patience to learn all the facets of being a manager or a franchise owner.

Following is a story of what two McDonald’s storeowners are doing for their working students; other storeowners should replicate this process for success and retention of workers:

Working students punch in, do homework
Livingston County McDonald's owners will allow employees to start their shift with studies.
By Steve Pardo / The Detroit News

GENOA TOWNSHIP -- Students employed by McDonald's owners Kathy and Jerry Olinik will be able to tackle French before french fries or calculus before Chicken Selects. The husband and wife duo, who own two McDonald's restaurants in Livingston County, will pay their high school employees to do their homework starting this fall.

It's an idea the pair came up with in the 1990s when they still worked for McDonald's Corp., said Jerry Olinik, 49.

"During those years, a lot of parents didn't want their kids working," he said. "Economic times were very good and parents, rightly so, wanted their kid to concentrate on homework and school. We thought there might be a happy medium there someplace."

Now that they own restaurants, they thought it was time to rekindle the idea.

Students will be able to punch in and sit down with their studies for an hour either before or after their work shift. Jerry Olinik estimates the two restaurants employ 30 high school students, including Jennifer Johnson, 17, who will be a senior at Howell High School this fall.
"I have trouble right now trying to keep up with school and work a job," Johnson said. "This will be a really good opportunity to do schoolwork before work."

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