Taco Bell today announced that it's partnering with Guild Education to provide education support for all 210,000 team members in its system of 7,000 restaurants in the U.S. As one of Guild's largest partners to offer education benefits across its entire system, Taco Bell team members will have access to personalized college advisors and tuition discounts for thousands of classes, certificates and degrees from day one of their career at Taco Bell.
"When we surveyed our employees, education support was one of the top three things they asked for," said Frank Tucker, Global Chief People Officer at Taco Bell. "The barriers to achieving their education goals were time, money and support. Our partnership with Guild delivers on all of these needs for our employees through access to online classes, financial aid guidance, tuition assistance and a personal counselor to support each student in real time."
All Taco Bell corporate and franchise employees will have access to Guild's academic and financial aid coaches and discounts to Guild's education partners – a network of 80 online non-profit universities and learning providers, offering Bachelor's and Master's degrees, programs such as high school completion and English-as-a-second-language and a wide selection of certificates. Taco Bell corporate employees, along with employees of participating franchisees, will also have access to up to $5,250 per calendar year in tuition assistance including books and supplies, paid up front so that employees don't have any out of pocket costs. Additionally, all employees can get college credit for on-the-job restaurant training, which could save an employee up to an additional $5,000, bringing their potential total savings to more than $10,000.
Taco Bell piloted its partnership with Guild in 2017 in about 700 corporate-owned restaurants, and more than 2,000 employees have since worked with a Guild coach to go back to school. Those who enrolled in a course, program or degree through Guild had a 98 percent retention rate over six months, a 34 percent increase over employees not enrolled. This added benefit will support Taco Bell's plans to create 100,000 new jobs in the U.S. as part of the company's 2022 growth goals. In 2018 alone, Taco Bell plans to open more than 250 new restaurants in the U.S., creating thousands of new jobs and increasing the company's need to attract and retain top talent.
"Taco Bell's emphasis on employee development made them an ideal partner for us," said Guild Education CEO Rachel Carlson. "Taco Bell's 'Start With Us, Stay With Us' philosophy aligns perfectly with Guild's value of giving employees education pathways to advance their careers – both at Taco Bell and beyond in future roles. We're delighted to help each Taco Bell employee find the right university or program to pursue their education, and our team at Guild will be with them every step of the way as they pursue their academic and career goals."
Taco Bell doesn't require employees to put in any time before signing up for these new Guild benefits, so employees can take advantage of the education benefits on day one. The Guild partnership joins existing education offerings such as the Live Más Scholarship and GED programs, that provide employees support no matter where they are in their education journey. All of these programs are part of Taco Bell's "Start With Us, Stay With Us" platform, which encourages employees to leverage the career-building and education programs that Taco Bell offers no matter how long they've been with, or plan to stay with, the company.
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