The economic downturn affected minority communities disproportionately as black unemployment levels soared from 2007-2010. McDonald’s is seeking to provide employment and job experience for 50,000 people nationwide. Kimberly Elizondo, owner of three Houston area McDonald’s, discusses the initiative, which will take place on April 19. –a.r.

How did you become a McDonald’s franchisee?

I became an owner in 2005. I currently own three restaurants in Houston. My father, Howard Kelly,  opened his first McDonald’s in 1992. I started at a young age. It was my first and job and I worked there until graduating college. In 2002, my dad called and gave me an opportunity to grow his business. It was a very rewarding experience.

Why is National Hiring Day so significant?

McDonald’s National Hiring Day will provide jobs for people who are searching for jobs in this economy. We are seeking to hire 1,500 or more employees in Houston and 50,000 nationwide. Anyone who is interested in starting a career can visit Some restaurants will do interviews that day and some will schedule interviews for the future.

How can a job at McDonald’s prepare individuals for the workforce?

A job at McDonald’s can open the doors for future opportunities. We prepare our workers for careers by giving them training and experience that is invaluable.

A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.