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Waterworks McDonald's opening means more jobs for Fox Chapel Area students

| Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Jan Pakler | for The Herald
The final phase of work is being done on the new McDonalds opening in Waterworks Mall.

In just five days — and one minute — the golden arches will open at The Waterworks.

Big Macs and fries will be served starting at 12:01 a.m. June 19 at the first McDonald's ever to open in the Lower Valley.

The store sits along Freeport Road, sandwiched between Wendy's and Walnut Grill.

“For many years, residents across the Allegheny Valley have been asking us to raise the Golden Arches in this area,” said owner Michael Delligatti, son of Fox Chapel resident and creator of the Big Mac, Jim Delligatti.

It was Jim Delligatti who brought the first McDonald's to the western Pennsylvania region, opening a store along McKnight Road in 1957.

The new restaurant is expected to create more than 85 jobs, with at least one-fourth of those specifically for Fox Chapel Area High School students.

“They came to our career fair and then followed the next week at school to do interviews and complete applications,” said John Baxter, district coordinator of career development.

As of last week, there were 20 district students hired to be cashiers, maintenance workers, fry cooks and more.

Baxter said an additional crew of students will be approved for co-op work experience where they will be released early from school to work a part-time shift at the restaurant. Students earn school credits for their time spent working.

“A fast food place is a great way to start learning how to work with people,” Baxter said.

Realizing that students are busy with extra-curricular activities, Baxter said McDonald's staff has worked to provide flexible work schedules.

They also provided Baxter and teacher Justin Papariello with an overview of the organization's training program to share with students.

“They walked us through from the point of being hired as a high school worker at 15, all the way to management training,” Baxter said.

The Waterworks McDonald's becomes the newest in the country, joining some 34,000 sites in 110 countries across the world. Contractors were busy this week putting the finishing touches on the restaurant, planting shrubs to line Freeport Road and erecting the Neon yellow sign near the entrance.

The site is one of 21 restaurants owned by Delligattti's M&J Management, a three-generation business.

It was built with an eco-friendly model, using all LED lighting in the parking lots and exterior signs. The building has a white reflective roof to help save on cooling energy and includes digital menu boards.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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