Locals line up for chance at McDonald's job

April 19, 2011 2:57:49 PM PDT
McDonald's, seeking to change the stereotype that working in fast food is a dead end, is holding a hiring blitz.

The company made a well-publicized push to hire 50,000 workers Tuesday.

In West Philadelphia, hundreds of people lined up at a McDonald's there to put in their application.

"It's been kind of rough, it really has. They haven't been making it easy to get a job anywhere. So, for them to have this opening right now is truly is a blessing," said Shena Stone, who has been unemployed for nearly a year. She admits she never would have applied at the "Golden Arches" had the tough job market not lingered so long.

The 50,000 openings range from part-time and entry level positions to managerial posts.

McDonald's officials say they're looking to capitalize on a recent improvement in business nationwide, the fact that more McDonald's are staying open 24 hours, and an abundance of well-qualified potential employees across the country who simply cannot find a job.

John Dawkins, the owner of this restaurant and eight more across the Delaware Valley, says they certainly can't hire everybody who filled out applications today, but they fully intend to put a dent in the local jobless numbers.

"We hope to hire 1,300 people today among the local stores here in Philadelphia," said Dawkins.

McDonald's said it and its franchisees will spend more than $518 million more in wages and salaries in the coming year, noting that the addition of 50,000 potential hires translates into $54 million more in payroll taxes contributed to the broader economy.

The 50,000 new workers will generate about $1.4 billion in annual spending, the chain said.