‘English under the arches’

Local employees graduate from language learning course

McDonald’s celebrated the newest graduating class of “English Under the Arches” — an English language learning course for non-native speaking employees — with a ceremony June 28 in their honor in Union City.

Six Hudson County managers – who immigrated from Mexico and Central and South American countries and range in age from their late 20s to late 50s – were recognized by supervisors and colleagues for successfully completing the second phase of “English Under the Arches.”

Titled “Shift Conversation”’ the second phase spanned 22 weeks and focused on the listening and speaking tasks needed to run a shift. The students completed the first eight-week phase in late December of last year.

“English Under the Arches” is one component of McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity, a set of programs developed to support restaurant employees across the country in pursuing their educational goals, whether it’s earning their high school diploma, pursuing a college degree, or learning English. More than 5,000 restaurant employees are currently enrolled in Archways to Opportunity nationwide. Locally, 45 percent of restaurants in the New York Tri-State Area have an employee utilizing the programs.

The six graduates of “English Under the Arches” are William De La Cruz, 43, and Jessica Gomez, 42, both of Union City; Abigail Feria, 27, Mercy Gomez, 59, Juana Ortiz, 39, and Silvia Perez, 42, all of Jersey City.

 “I love my job and it’s great that a program like ‘English Under the Arches’ exists for employees,” said De La Cruz, a McDonald’s manager in Union City. “I’m very thankful for this opportunity.”

“McDonald’s is a large company and we wouldn’t be where we are today without our employees,” said Celestina Quintana, a McDonald’s franchisee who owns and operates the restaurants where the graduates work. “It’s fantastic that we can give back to the employees with Archways to Opportunity and help them with their educational goals.”

Free education

“English Under the Arches” courses are offered free of charge to eligible McDonald’s employees and the eligible employees of participating franchisees. The courses teach 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 provide continued value and would progress rapidly with the aid of language training.

For more information about McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program please visit http://www.archwaystoopportunity.com/

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