Free food doesn't have to be the only perk to working in fast food. Guild Education has created a program to nudge frontline workers into a college degree. And employers like Chipotle and Taco Bell have signed up, much to the delight of you cofounders Rachel Carlson (right) and Brittany Stich (left), recently named to Forbes magazine's 30 under 30 list.
Guild Education
Free food doesn’t have to be the only perk to working in fast food. Denver’s Guild Education helps frontline workers earn a college degree. And employers like Chipotle and Taco Bell have signed up, much to the delight of co-founders Rachel Carlson (right) and Brittany Stich, recently named to Forbes magazine’s 30 under 30 list.

There’s more to working at Chipotle than getting a free burrito each shift. The fast-casual eatery helps pay for college! Chipotle offers tuition as a benefit through Denver startup Guild Education.

For Chipotle employees, that translates into tuition assistance of up to $5,250 plus college credit for on-the-job training. The Public Service Credit Union offers the same amount to employees who’ve been there for at least six months. And teacher aids, a.k.a. paraprofessionals, at Denver Public Schools can qualify for full scholarships to become teachers.

An added benefit for the employer: retention. “In the fast-casual sector, our analysis of 90-day retention rates found that 98 percent of frontline employees who pursued education benefits stayed with the company, compared to 73 percent of their peers,” co-founder Rachel Carlson said in a statement.

And it’s not just employees and employers who are interested in the company. In August, the U.S. Department of Education picked Guild Education’s partnership with Colorado State University to be part of an experiment in nontraditional education. A month later, Silicon Valley’s Redpoint Ventures led an $8.5 million Series A round in the company. Other companies that have joined the Guild: Taco BellRocky Mountain Hospital for Children and Sage Hospitality.

Curious? You can now search for your own employer — or check for a friend who needs an educational nudge — on Guild’s homepage.

Headquarters: 999 18th Street, #2240 in Denver
Founded: 2015
Founders: Rachel Carlson, CEO; Brittany Stich, Head of Student Experience
Employees: 52
Contact: 720-709-2871
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