By Alicia Neaves
WEST TEXAS - You've heard about fast food workers across the country walking out, all to fight for better wages. But here in West Texas, those protests are nonexistent.
If you're a business outside of the oilfield, chances are you're in need of employees.
McDonald's is reaching out to a particular group to help "feed" that need.
"We want to get our kids to graduate high school. A lot of them drop out of high school to go to the oilfields, then at the end, they could get hurt. If something happens, they don't have a career anymore," McDonald's Store Manager, Frances Jensen, said.
It's been a week since nationwide protests by McDonald's, Taco Bell and KFC workers. They took the streets of New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Detroit to fight for higher wages. Locally, those protests were nonexistent.
"Here in Odessa and Midland, I think since the boom is really good here and money and economics are very good and high here, I think it didn't affect us and that's a good thing," Frances said.
A huge factor could be the student incentives program, a program exclusive to West Texas McDonald's.
"I have the hours I want and by getting good grades I also get more money. It's easy to be here and go to school and get rewarded for it," McDonald's Crew Member and Student Incentive Program participant, Jeremiah Jensen, said.
The higher the grade, the more cash in their pocket.
"For an A you get $40, for a B you get $25, for a C you get $10. The higher grades you get, the more money you get. Every month you can get your grades checked, turn it in to the manager and get money for it," Jeremiah said.
At this time, about 40 students participate in the program. The wage starts at $8.50 an hour.
"He wants to get into a good college so it will help him save money. But it also gives him responsibility because he has a job and he gets more responsibility, the better off he'll be as an adult," Frances said.