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Trump tax cuts trigger McDonald’s expanded education perks

Operator triples tuition assistance for restaurant workers

Driven by President Trump's corporate tax cut, McDonald’s is tripling its tuition perks for eligible employees as part of a plan to allocate $150 million over five years to help workers further their education.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based quick-service operator said Thursday it will increase tuition assistance for eligible restaurant workers from $700 to $2,500 a year. Assistance for eligible managers will increase to $3,000 a year, compared with $1,050 under the three-year-old Archways to Opportunity program.

The $150 million “allocation was accelerated by changes in the U.S. tax law,” McDonald’s said.

David Fairhurst, McDonald’s chief people officer, said in a statement that the enhanced benefits send a signal to workers.

“If you come work at your local McDonald’s, we’ll invest in your future.”

McDonald’s also lowered eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment and dropped the minimum weekly hours required from 20 to 15 hours. Additionally, the company has extended its career online services to employee family members.

The program changes will become effective on May 1 and are retroactive to Jan. 1, the company said.

To date, Archways has invested $21 million in high school and college tuition assistance for roughly 24,000 U.S. workers.

Under the revisions announced Thursday, almost 400,000 U.S. McDonald’s restaurant workers will have access to the program, the company said. Participants can use the funds to offset costs at community college, a four-year university or a trade school.

McDonald's started the assistance program in 2015 to reduce barriers employees face in realizing their educational goals.

Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @FastFoodMaven

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