Deb Robinson at a Mendota Heights McDonald’s had her hours cut after long term road construction impacted the restaurant.

She considered finding another position, explains ProAct Designated Coordinator Matt Anderson, but there was a different option.

“Ultimately, we decided together to try to learn some new tasks at McDonald’s in order for her to pick up other shifts,” said Anderson. “Eventually, that led to her doing drive-through.” Anderson makes support visits for Robinson, who works 20 to 25 hours a week.

When this writer visited, she proudly led a tour of the restaurant, complete with explanations of the different jobs she performs. “There’s a little bit of everything working here,” said Robinson, a veteran staffer who will celebrate three years here in September.

“You can do about anything you make up your mind to,” she said. “It will be a challenge to begin with, but as you go down the line, later, it will get a lot easier for you. You just need to keep up the good work.”

A coworker from the beginning, Robin, said Robinson shows staff everything, knows what she is doing, and she loves working with her. “Debbie is smart, courageous and catches on easily.”
Robinson calls Anderson at ProAct if there’s a need, and he encourages her. She finds her coworkers to be friendly, and she is, herself, quite adept at making diners feel welcome.

The crew member will often ask customers how they are doing, if they have everything they need and say she hopes they will come back to McDonald’s again soon. “She takes pride (in her job),” said Anderson.

Before McDonald’s, Robinson worked at more than a handful of ProAct enclaves, which are offsite work opportunities in groups. She said it was about being there, having a positive attitude, improving her speed and staying focused.

She uses her earnings to pay rent, and takes a Metro Mobility bus to and from work.