Dick's now serving scholarships

By Chloe Wilhelm - Staff Reporter

Scholarship and employment opportunities may be available to Highline students with the upcoming opening of a new Dick's Drive-In restaurant in Kent.

Dick's Drive-In, which was founded in 1954, is a local fast-food restaurant chain based in Seattle. The new restaurant, which will be located immediately south of Lowe's on the east side of Pacific Highway South, had its groundbreaking event on April 3, and is expected to open in mid-October.

Dick's chose to expand south of Seattle for its seventh location after an online competition eliminated a possible Eastside expansion. The race was then on between South King County cities to host the latest restaurant. Interest was expressed by communities from West Seattle to Federal Way. Kent won out in part because of its proximity to the busy crossroads of Pacific Highway South and Kent-Des Moines Road, plus the 18,000 student Highline campus. 

Jim Spady, president of Dick's Drive-In Restaurants, said that the new location will provide employment and scholarship opportunities for students.

"We're really excited about the 50 new jobs we'll create here," he said.

Employees at Dick's Drive-In receive a base wage of $14 an hour and free health insurance. Spady said that Highline students will be able to apply for positions at the new location.

He said that future employees who will work at the Kent location will be able to work and train at one of the Seattle restaurants to become prepared for the opening.

There is also a $25,000 scholarship available to employees.

Spady said that employees who work 20 hours a week for at least six months and continue to work at least 20 hours a week during school can apply for the scholarship.

He said that this scholarship can be used for any college, vocational, or self-improvement program.

Jeanne Miller, director of operations support for Dick's Drive-In Restaurants, said that the $25,000 scholarship will be provided over four years. During the first two years, employees are eligible for $3,000 each year, with $9,000 available during the last two years.

"The idea was to help with community college the first two years, and then a four-year college the next two years," Miller said.

She said that employees must have a 2.0 GPA to be eligible for the scholarship.

Job applications for the Kent location will be available online in May.

For more information, students can visit www.ddir.com or call 206-634-0300.

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