CCAC students taking advantage of scholarships through Archways to Opportunity program

Article by: CCAC Public Relations

PITTSBURGH-Students at the Community College of Allegheny County who work at McDonald's restaurants may be eligible for up to $2,500 a year in scholarship money. The Archways to Opportunity program provides eligible McDonald's employees funds to pursue their educational goals as long as they are in school. Access to the program has been increased by lowering eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment and reducing the required work schedule from 20 to 15 hours minimum per week to enable restaurant employees more time to focus on their studies. Additionally, scholarship amounts have increased from $700 a year to $2,500 a year for crew members and from $1,050 to $3,000 a year for managers.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, CCAC Vice President of Workforce Development Theresa Bryant and Partner4Work Chief Program Officer McCrae Martino joined in making the announcement last month at the North Side McDonald's. Over the next five years, McDonald's will invest $150 million to give restaurant employees more money for college and more flexibility to study and work at the same time. The corporation is also expanding the Career Online High School and College Advisory Services to restaurant employees' family members. 

Alycia Bencloski-Brashear, a postsecondary navigator in CCAC's Workforce Development Division, meets with out-of-school youth at nonprofit agencies to help them pursue their educational and career goals. Some of the job seekers are applying to work at McDonald's because of the program, which, she believes, could help many underserved youth get started on a path to a promising future. 

"A lot of us had our first jobs in the fast food industry," said Bencloski-Brashear. "This is a great opportunity-we just need to get the word out."

For more information about the Archways to Opportunity program, visit: archwaystoopportunity.com.

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