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Partnership with BCIT allows McDonald’s managers to trade training for credits

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver



Would you like a degree with that?

Rising through the ranks of McDonald’s now has an additional topping — through a partnership based on a military transition program, employees at the supervisor and managerial level can now supersize their knowledge for credits at a local post-secondary.

Sarah Dodd, a 28-year-old alumnus of the famed “University of Hamburgerology” in Chicago, Ill., has never known a job that didn’t involve flipping burgers or frying hash browns.

Now a seasoned manager at the institution renown for its golden arches, Dodd explained her training involved 160 hours of professional instruction training plus about $10,000 in post-secondary education paid for by her company.

It’s talented people like Dodd, according to BC Institute of Technology business school head Kevin Wainwright, who are needed as the province’s potential pool of managers diminishes with numerous anticipated retirements on the horizon.

At BCIT, he said, the idea of credits transfer was originally intended for former soldiers to apply their experience in the military into post-secondary credits. The program is now also available to municipal employees in Maple Ridge and firefighters in several Metro Vancouver municipalities.

“What we’re trying to argue is saying there are skilled people out there who don’t get recognition for it,” Wainwright said Thursday.

He said McDonald’s employees, many of whom started as teens, typically have high loyalty and morale — sometimes to the disappointment of their parents who wish they would quit to go to school.

“We’re taking away the problem … by letting them get educated they can have careers at McDonald’s and get opportunities to get educated.”

According to McDonald’s, about 8% of its 9,000 employees in B.C. are eligible for the credit transition. The transition could be worth about $8,000 — about the equivalent of 16 course credits.

Company chief people officer Len Jillard said supply chain management, ordering, scheduling, marketing, human resources and more are among the skills McDonald’s employees are versed in.

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