Team Trozzolo recently took first place in Entrepreneurship KC’s summer youth competition. Twenty-two teams, sponsored by Kansas City employers, tackled a variety of challenges for a chance to win $5,000 and an additional $3,000 to donate to a charitable organization.
Trozzolo’s team, made up of students from six area high schools, addressed the issue of employee recruitment and retention for the McDonalds Great Plains Co-Op, a Trozzolo client.
After interviewing McDonald’s owner-operators, the team discovered several “hidden benefits” of working at McDonald’s, including career guidance, tuition reimbursement and flexible schedules. Through extensive research with potential employees, the team learned that greater awareness of these benefits would substantially boost curiosity.
“Our research showed that interest in working at McDonald’s increased 40% among people who found out about these benefits,” said Naina Singh, intern.
Team Trozzolo’s entrepreneurial solution was to create an interactive YouTube series titled “Behind the Golden Arches,” aimed solidly at their key target audience of potential employees.
Intern Juwali Ya said this series would break down barriers and offer an authenticity not often achieved through traditional advertising. “It would feature real employees talking about the benefits they reap by working at McDonald’s. It would also hold people’s interest with fun facts like the best time of day to get fresh fries.”
We couldn’t be more proud of their first-place finish. The team chose to donate the philanthropic portion of their winnings to The Village KC, a nonprofit organization that serves middle and high school students in the Kansas City area.
Trozzolo mentors for this project were Julie Robinson, EVP Client Services, and Abi White, PR Strategist.
“It was our absolute pleasure to work with these students. I think Abi and I learned at least as much from them as they learned from us. With these young people at the helm, the future of our city is in great hands, “ said Julie.
Entrepreneurship KC is a collaborative partnership between Cherry and STARTLAND, working to create the next generation of entrepreneurs by providing scaffolded immersive entrepreneurial experiences to area students.
This summer entrepreneurship experience is part of Working for Youth, an evidence-based model aimed at changing the trajectory of at-risk teens and the community by expanding employment opportunities to young people in Kansas City. Entrepreneurship KC, Hire KC, and KC Common Good — in partnership with Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas— are collaboratively growing the city’s capacity by training, coaching and employing nearly 10% of Kansas City’s 5,000 youth, ages 14 to 18, living east of Troost.
For more on this initiative, see this story from KCUR: https://www.kcur.org/news/2021-08-03/can-paid-summer-internships-help-cut-crime-a-kansas-city-collaboration-aims-to-find-out.