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The world’s largest fast-food restaurant chain has now employed 1 in 8 Americans, whether for a summer or an entire career. The list includes astronauts, teachers, playwrights, and current company executives. McDonald’s recently launched its “1 in 8” initiative to recognize past and present crew members and provide them with further opportunities for professional growth.
1 in 8 kicked off last Wednesday with a homecoming event in New York City, where McDonald’s employees and alums swapped personal stories and career advice. Attendees included bestselling author Cody Rigsby, celebrity chef Harold Villarosa, TV personality Alejandra Espinoza, and McDonald’s franchise owner Paul Hendel, who started as a crew member at 16 and now owns 31 restaurants.
"It's no secret that McDonald's is my day one," said Rigsby. "It's a full circle moment for me to be able to share my journey to inspire others — including those who had the same start as me and used their job at McDonald's as a jumping off point."
The company plans to offer mentorships with notable alums and host special events like employee reunions. The 1 in 8 media campaign features a cast of current employees at work and during their off time at home or school.
"Reflecting back on my beginnings as a McDonald's restaurant employee 38 years ago, I'm proud to be a part of an organization that roots for and supports its people," said Myra Doria, U.S. National Field President at McDonald's. "It's special to have experienced first-hand the doors that the Golden Arches can open for a person."
Member swag includes an official 1 in 8 letterman jacket, designed by one-time crew member Kendall Hurns, who went on to create the lifestyle brand Robotic Minds Concept.
Learn more about McDonald’s 1 in 8 initiative here.
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