The 62 McDonald’s restaurants across the state expect to hire nearly 1,000 employees this summer after Maine lifted pandemic-related restrictions on indoor dining earlier this month in Cumberland, York and Androscoggin counties.

A company representative said the new hires are needed not because employees were let go after Gov. Janet Mills ordered the closure of restaurant dining rooms and bars in March to curtail the spread of coronavirus, but for additional staff to accommodate new safety guidelines.

New safety procedures at McDonald’s include social distancing floor stickers, protective barriers at order points and, for employees, masks, gloves, and wellness and temperature checks, according to a company spokeswoman. Children’s play places will remain closed, as will some tables and seating to accommodate social distancing requirements.

“It was important for us to stay open (for) drive-thru, takeout and delivery to serve our communities throughout the COVID-19 crisis,” said Ron Lydick, co-owner of 14 McDonald’s franchises in Maine, in a prepared statement. “As local business owners, we’re proud to provide employment and educational opportunities to our crew and look forward to welcoming new employees to our McFamily this summer.”

Archways to Opportunity, in its fifth year, provides tuition assistance, the opportunity to learn English and free education and career advising services to employees who have worked at least 90 days at 15 hours a week. More than 50 percent of the 55,000 restaurant workers and corporate employees who have participated in the program identify as people of color, and nearly two-thirds are women, according to the company.

Job-seekers can visit McDonalds.com/careers to learn more or text “worksforme” to 36453 to start an application. They can also say, “Help me get a job at McDonald’s,” to any Alexa or Google Assistant device.

Correction: This story was updated at 9:10 a.m. Thursday June 24, 2020 to correct the reason for the new hires.

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