As a global food, facilities and uniforms services company, our frontline employees are truly the heartbeat of our company. They’re the ones serving and preparing food, keeping buildings clean and laundering and delivering uniforms to other companies. We recognize that one way to help frontline workers advance was by giving them access to high-quality degree programs that are universally valued. So, last year we made a substantial commitment to better the lives of our frontline employees, choosing to invest in their futures through the Aramark Frontline Education program.
The social and economic benefits of higher education are well-documented. A Lumina Foundation report found that for every dollar spent on an employee’s education, the organization recouped it and saved an additional $1.29 in talent management costs—a remarkable 129% ROI. We anticipate that our program will help the company recruit a new pool of talented employees and retain existing ones, particularly those who are interested in moving up here at Aramark.
We partnered with InStride, the premier provider of strategic enterprise education (SEE),
to develop a program that goes beyond traditional models, like tuition assistance programs (TAPs).
Our program provides full tuition coverage to eligible employees in the US for more than 80 different undergraduate online programs at Arizona State University, one of InStride’s global academic partners, without restrictions. It includes a direct bill model so that employees don’t have to pay upfront and wait to be reimbursed.
The program is showing significant success in a short amount of time. In the first three months, more than 7,500 Aramark employees expressed interest in participating, and by January Arizona State University had already admitted 81 Aramark employees as students.
Even more importantly, the reaction of the employees who are returning to school is overwhelming. Kayla Shirley’s face (right) says it all. Kayla works at one of our client locations in Arizona. Corin McDonald, a barista at our Philadelphia headquarters, said her acceptance into the program makes her “excited for the future.” And another employee had this to say:
“Thanks to my amazing company Aramark for paying 100% of my tuition. I will be resuming classes on March 16 to finish getting my bachelor’s degree! I am so humbled and overjoyed at this amazing opportunity to finish my education without going into debt…forever grateful.”
Strategic enterprise education truly benefits the individual, the corporation, the university, and the community in general.
Aramark’s commitment to people is a core part of the company’s sustainability plan, Be Well. Do Well. We strive to create a better world by making a positive impact on people and the planet, including commitments to engage our employees.
Aramark employees will provide procurement, assembly and delivery services for at least 300,000 and up to 500,000 food and household supply packages to hospital staff across all five NYC boroughs.
The coronavirus has forced higher education institutions to examine the ways they can adapt to the foodservice industry to continue operation, if necessary. It has also forced higher education institutions to take a look at what lasting changes this crisis will bring and the business practices they need to adopt.