Submitted by Yum! Brands
This year, Taco Bell extended Digital & Technology apprenticeships to some of its restaurant team members. Called the Yum! Reskilling Academy (YRA), this 12- to 15-month program provides high-quality, on-the-job experience, virtual skills training and a peer community to its participants with the end goal of hiring team members into corporate roles. YRA is a Yum! Unlocking Opportunity Initiative program launched in partnership with the job training organization Multiverse
Read on to learn one of the stories of a Taco Bell participant: Toby C.
Toby joined Taco Bell in 2019 while looking for a part-time, evening job to make extra money. Soon after, Toby lost his primary job, so what was supposed to be a six-month gig turned into a full-time position.
Five years later, Toby is still working for the brand and was encouraged to apply for Taco Bell’s parent company’s apprenticeship pilot program, the Yum! Reskilling Academy. He was accepted as a system engineer apprentice.
“When I got the offer letter to join the program, I was over the moon. I was already pursuing a degree in computer programming through the tuition reimbursement program, so it was even cooler that I was going to learn new skills and put them to use for the company.”
Although Toby would be leaving his team to go work for Yum!, it was not short of a bittersweet celebration.
“My team threw me a going away party, which was awesome,” he said. “They tried to hide the party as a store meeting, but one of the employees let it slip the night before. I was still very grateful that they took their time to give me this party as I had the city coach, two area coaches and my team there to celebrate this new beginning.”
Since joining Yum!’s team at the corporate office, Toby has gone through extensive training to get him prepared for this new role. Currently in month seven of the 15-month program, Toby remembers the initial learning curve.
“The first three months were very stressful as we packed several years of schooling into a 12-week bootcamp, but it was rewarding to see how fast I was learning everything,” he said. “Being online took some adjustment, too, as I’d been so used to going in person to my jobs, but that changed with this fully remote program.”
On the team, Toby works with the front-and back-of-house technology systems. One of his main responsibilities as a system engineer apprentice is to make sure people are being routed to the correct information to get their questions answered. He also assists in creating sites, with Yum!’s global career site being one of his primary projects.
“It’s crazy to think about how much new stuff I’ve absorbed in a small amount of time,” Toby said. “It’s also been surprising to see how fast my group has become so close. We have our own little support system, which makes work even better. It’s been awesome to see what corporate is doing to support the local restaurants.”
This program has also enabled Toby to gain some experience outside the engineering space, diversifying his skillset and exposing him to new pathways.
“Currently, I am volunteering as a regional leader for the Houston Multiverse group,” he said. “As the months go by, I’ll be taking on more responsibilities, exploring a little bit of the events space before my term is up.”
Looking to the rest of the program, Toby is eager to continue supporting the team in the most effective way he can.
“I’m looking forward to keep learning and growing so others, including our Taco Bell Leadership, can see what this program has to offer,” he said. “I hope they can take advantage of this opportunity in the future.”
Stay tuned to see where the apprenticeship program takes Toby!
At Taco Bell, we lead with a people-first mindset because the investments we make in our people are the ones we hold close to our hearts. To check out more opportunities, click here.
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 54,000 restaurants in more than 155 countries and territories, operating the Company’s brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. The Company’s family of brands also includes The Habit Burger Grill, a fast-casual restaurant concept specializing in made-to-order chargrilled burgers, sandwiches and more. Yum! Brands was named to the 2021 Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and was ranked on Newsweek’s list of 2021 America’s Most Responsible Companies. In 2022, Yum! Brands was named to 3BL Media’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens.
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