Harper College

Harper partners with McDonald’s of Chicagoland on education program

Bear Family McDonald's Restaurants and Harper representatives celebrate their partnership

On June 27, Bear Family McDonald’s Restaurants and Harper College hosted a career-focused event at McDonald’s (1070 N. Roselle Rd, Hoffman Estates) to announce the launch of their education-focused partnership program. Representatives from the Bear organization and Harper College, including Dr. Avis Proctor, Harper College president; and David Bear, president of Bear Family Restaurants, were onsite to showcase the advancement opportunities of Archways to Opportunity provided through a career at McDonald’s.

“The McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity education program offers several avenues for eligible employees to advance and Harper College is proud to become the official education provider for these McDonald’s franchises owned by Bear Family Restaurants,” said Dr. Proctor. “We are committed to building strategic partnerships with regional employers to better enable their employees to receive the education and support they need to achieve their academic and career goals.” Dr. Avis Proctor and David Bear 

Notable attendees included Mr. Bill McLeod, Mayor of Hoffman Estates; and Vanessa Jimenez, a Harper alumna. Vanessa is a McDonald’s Supervisor for Bear Family Restaurants, and she spoke about how Archways to Opportunity helped her pursue a better life through her career with McDonald’s. Through the Archways to Opportunity program, Vanessa was able to enroll at Harper College to take English as a second language classes, which helped her communicate better with her customers. As her English grew stronger, Vanessa was able to pursue her GED, then earned her Applied Science in Business Associate’s Degree, and also grew in her career with Bear Family Restaurants.

Vanessa JimenezThrough the partnership with the Bear Family Restaurants organization, which operates 35 McDonald’s locations in the Chicagoland area and employs more than 1,500 employees across 20 communities, Harper College will be able to help support a vast number of employees.

For more information, please visit: bearfamilyrestaurants.com and harpercollege.edu/mcdonalds.

About Harper College
Harper College serves approximately 30,000 credit and non-credit students annually. The college prepares students for rewarding careers and for transfer to four-year colleges and universities through associate degree and certificate programs, workforce training, professional development, community education classes, accelerated degree options for adults and developmental education programs.

Harper’s faculty and staff continue to innovate ways to support students of all ages and backgrounds, with a variety of career goals and life circumstances. Offering on-campus, online and blended courses, the college is a resource for everyone in its district, dedicated to providing equitable outcomes for all who enroll.

Named one of the top 25 colleges in the U.S. by the Aspen Institute, Harper is a national leader in workforce solutions, connecting talented students with area employers via apprenticeships, internships and other partnerships. The college trains students to thrive in emerging and robust industries while maintaining a legacy of learning that has reinforced the bond between Harper and its community for more than 50 years.

About Bear Family Restaurants

The Bear Family is committed to being a socially responsible and engaged member of every community that their restaurants serve.  They host dozens of McTeacher nights, provide tens of thousands of dollars back to their local social service agencies and contribute hundreds of hours of volunteer time each year. They are the recipients of multiple awards for community service including the 2013 Illinois Family Business of the Year for Community Service.

The Family has a mission to Impress Every Guest. When people visit a Bear Family McDonald’s Restaurant they will experience a difference by always being greeted with a smile, being treated with respect and feeling a genuine sense of appreciation.

Last Updated: 3/14/24