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FRANKLIN — A training program is giving Hoosiers a chance to move up through a company from employee to franchise owner.
Culver's gives employees and what they call team members the resources they need to advance in their career through a variety of development tools, including e-learning, workshops, and equipment training.
Many team members can work their way up into new roles within the company to eventually become general managers and through another training program, they can eventually become a restaurant owner and operator.
That is the case for one Greenwood native who took her high school job and made it into her long-term career.
Ashley Mitchell started work as a Culver's team member back in high school at the Greenwood location on State Road 135.
She worked at that location for 15 and a half years in a variety of roles, eventually becoming the general manager when she was 23 years old. She started talking about ownership with a mentor more than five years ago and took part in the company's mentee program.
"We did profit and loss statements. We learned how to do schedules. We learned how to do truck orders," Mitchell said. "We learned everything that you possibly could know. We've done TV interviews, mock interviews, and I'm putting it to use now."
Mitchell has been in the process of opening her own Culver's franchise in Franklin for the past three years and now she is preparing to open her doors near Interstate 65 and State Road 44.
"It just seemed like the right fit for me," Mitchell said. "There's just so much room for growth and opportunity here on I-65. This was my career. This is what I wanted to do in my life."
And Mitchell is now hiring nearly 70 team members in a variety of roles and flexible shifts. She currently has hired several managers, many of who she has worked with before.
She enjoys watching them grow in their careers and hopes she too someday can mentor a future owner and operator.
"About half of my management team has been with me for five years or more, so I've watched them grow from team members, to trainers, to shift managers, and assistant managers," Mitchell said.
As for her customers and community in Franklin, Mitchell wants them to know she plans to become a vital part of Franklin.
"I want the community to know that we are here," Micthell said. "We are going to support them, even with the pandemic, we are still going to be out in the community."
If you want to apply for any of these open positions, you can go to Culver's website and type in your zip code. You will click on the Franklin location on Granville Drive.