Recently, Washington Post reporter Anne Hull wrote an article titled, For Hardee’s workers, it’s not a parable, it’s a job, which focused on a number of Hardee’s employees in Iowa and their jobs. In her article, she also mentioned a former Hardee’s employee, now U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, who referenced her successful journey from the Hardee’s biscuit line to the U.S. Senate when she gave the Republican response to the President’s State of the Union earlier this year.
The article was written in a way that could lead readers to reach the mistaken conclusion that our employees face limited opportunities because of their jobs. Dismissing the value of entry-level jobs is simply wrong. These jobs provide employees with important skills that can provide a solid foundation for individual success in other areas. Some of our employees move into management positions within our company. Others use their experience and knowledge to become franchisees. Still others move on to other opportunities such as our former biscuit maker who is now a U.S. Senator. Personally, I started off scooping ice cream at Baskin and Robbins for minimum wage. Not everyone becomes a Senator or a CEO but, in this country, everyone has a chance. We don’t want our employees to anchor their future prospects to entry-level jobs; we want them to grow both personally and professionally.
To get a different take on the value of our jobs, please read the letter Dan Ponder, a Hardee’s franchisee, submitted to the paper titled, There’s more to the biscuit line, in which he highlights the contributions of one employee who will soon celebrate her 28th year as a breakfast cook. While you’re at it, take a moment to also read the Washington Examiner’s retort to the article: Washington Post turns Joni Ernst success story into indictment of late capitalism, fast food, Iowa weather.
No matter what the critics say, entry-level jobs are valuable and they can help people succeed in life.