Chick-fil-A beefs up education benefit with employee scholarships

Fast food chain Chick-fil-A will offer $14.5 million in scholarships to more than 5,700 corporate and franchise employees in 2018 as part of its enhanced educational assistance benefits.

The “Remarkable Futures” education initiative offers scholarships in the amount of $2,500 and $25,000, which can be applied to accredited two- or four-year colleges and universities, online programs, or technical or vocational schools. There is no requirement of hours worked or length of service to qualify.

“We want to provide team members with not only essential job skills and leadership development opportunities while working in Chick-fil-A restaurants, but also help them receive the best education to support their career aspirations — whatever they may be,” says Rodney Bullard, vice president of community affairs at Chick-fil-A and executive director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation.

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Employees prepare fried chicken sandwiches for guests during an event ahead of the grand opening for a Chick-fil-A restaurant in New York, U.S., on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. Chick-fil-A, the Southern chicken-sandwich chain that has drawn both controversy and copycats over the years, has finally arrived in New York. The company will open a 5,000-square-foot (465-square-meter), three-level restaurant in Manhattan's Garment District that will be the chain's largest location in the nation. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Chick-fil-A will distribute $14.32 million of the $14.5 million on $2,500 scholarships for 5,728 workers enrolled in a program during the 2018-19 academic year. Employees can reapply for the scholarship for up to four years and potentially earn $10,000 while working at a Chick-fil-A restaurant. The company says the leadership scholarship is based on leadership, academic achievement and community involvement.

See also: Taco Bell extends education benefits to all employees

The remaining $325,000 will be distributed to 13 employees through the True Inspiration Scholarship, which is awarded to employees based on demonstrated financial need, leadership, academic achievement and community involvement. Employees receiving the $25,000 scholarship must log an average of 450 hours of community service.

The company also offers tuition discounts of up to 30% and other educational benefits at 100 colleges and universities across the country. All of Chick-fil-A’s 120,000 employees are eligible for those benefits.

Chick-fil-A says is the highest unrestricted per-employee scholarship investments in the industry, although education benefits have become popular among other fast food restaurants as they increase efforts to retain and recruit workers.

In March, McDonald’s announced it is committing $150 million over the next five years for educational assistance and college advisory services. Chipotle and Taco Bell also enhanced education benefits this year.

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