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Education

Taco Bell Is Helping All 210,000 of Its Employees Get an Education

Fast-casual restaurant chain Taco Bell is known for its creative combinations: quesadilla and burrito (Quesarito), tacos and pizza (Mexican Pizza), and tacos and gorditas (Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch). 

Now, the chain is getting creative with its employee benefits, combining work with educational opportunities for all of its 210,000 workers. 

On March 15, Taco Bell announced that employees at the chain’s 7,000 stores nationwide are eligible for education classes at 80 online universities, as well as tuition assistance and college credit for job training at the restaurant. 

Take Action: Call on US Government and Business Leaders to #FundEducation

Discounted classes are offered through Taco Bell’s partnership with Guild Education, which also works with Chipotle

“When we surveyed our employees, education support was one of the top three things they asked for,” Frank Tucker, global chief people officer at Taco Bell, said in a statement. “The barriers to achieving their education goals were time, money and support.” 

Programs like this, which are also available for workers at other fast food chains, such as Chipotle, McDonalds, and Starbucks, can be the jump-start students with a high-school degree or less need to improve future economic prospects. 

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Read More: A Waitress Who Helped an Elderly Man Cut His Ham Is Now Getting a $16,000 Scholarship to College

Although the large majority of Americans have a high school diploma or equivalent, just one in three have a bachelor’s degree, and slightly over 10 percent have a master’s degree. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree can increase earnings by more than $20,000 per year, according to Smartasset

So far, Taco Bell’s program seems to be working, and not just for employees. According to the press release, 98% of 700 workers who participated in a pilot program stayed with the company for more than six months — much higher than the company’s average six-month retention rate of 64 percent. 

And with the company planning on adding 100,000 new jobs by 2022, they may not be only employees working at Taco Bell in the long-run. 

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Hopefully, the early success of Taco Bell’s will inspire other fast-food and fast-casual employers to provide educational opportunities for their workers, as well. 

Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and quality education is goal number four. You can join us and call on US leaders to fund the Global Partnership for Education here