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Class Teaches Kids to Say "Fries with That?"

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Now kids can learn entry-level skills right in school.

teenage cashier

Four inner city Detroit area public high schools have partnered with more than 20 companies (including Walmart, McDonalds, Marriott and AutoZone) to teach teens job-readiness training during the school day -- for class credit, reports the Detroit Free Press.

The pilot program includes 11 weeks of entry-level job training during the school day for 10 credit hours and then, according to project manager John Cromer, students are then "placed in a job, a paid or unpaid internship, or a community service position with one of the companies."

One local activist group is less than thrilled with the program, however, saying it teaches students to be "subservient workers."

momlogic spoke with Walmart Divisional Director for Community & Media Relations
William C. Wertz who explained, "Walmart and other companies and really trying to give kids better advice about how to fill out job applications and how to better represent themselves in the most positive way -- when they go out and get jobs." He continues to say there is "no guarantee on our part to employee these students. We would consider and hope that we might find some good applicants, but it's not a low-paid apprenticeship or internship or anything like that."

As for training kids to be 'subservient workers,' Wertz pointed to the fact that many of Walmart's high-paid store managers started as cart pushers and were afforded the opportunity to work their way up through the ranks. "A lot of times work that some people think might not be the best is the first step on a ladder that leads quite far," he says.

What do you think? Do corporations have a place in our public schools? Should entry-level training be offered in school?

next: Six Habits Moms Should Give Up
3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Cheryl February 17, 2010, 6:21 AM

I think it is a good idea. Having some companies represent themselves at the schools shows the children what kind of opportunities are available, as well as showing them that sometimes you have to start at the bottom to get to the top. How many reality shows have we seen where the kids only want to be rich and famous, but have no idea what it takes to do that? Giving them an entry level position is a foot in the door.

Gigohead  February 17, 2010, 7:26 AM

I say an astounding Yes. No one starts from the top. That’s whats wrong with young people today, a sense of entitlement. Its ok to start as a cashier or a fry cook and work your way up to management. It may empower kids to see what its like and aspire to go beyond that and aim for careers.

Gail Cooke February 17, 2010, 8:25 AM

Mmmm..I don’t know…the only time I’ve said “Would you like Fries with that,” is with sarcasm. I think that if these corporations are coming in and teaching kids to be butt monkeys, parents need to step in and make sure their kids develop some ambitions.

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