In an effort to empower employees with free, comprehensive money management tools, McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD – News) and Visa Inc. have launched the country’s largest employer-based financial literacy program. The “McDonald’s Practical Money Skills” program is being made available to more than 500,000 restaurant-level employees throughout the majority of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants.

As part of this program, employees will receive a printed Wealth Watchers budgeting guide to track expenses and access to an instructional video and Web resource center at with additional tools and information. The materials, which are based on Visa’s popular “Practical Money Skills for Life” financial education program, are being made available in both English and Spanish.

“Empowering Americans with the knowledge they need to make informed financial decisions is crucial,” says Bill Sheedy, president, North America, Visa Inc. “A challenge of this size requires an equally large response, which is why we are proud to be working with McDonald’s on this innovative financial literacy program for their employees.”

“The McDonald’s Practical Money Skills program is part of our ongoing commitment to provide a wide-range of benefits to our employees,” says Steve Russell, chief people officer, McDonald’s USA. “Providing information and educating our employees about the importance of financial responsibility has become increasingly important–now more than ever.”

During these challenging economic times, the state of financial literacy in America has become increasingly important. A survey released earlier this year by the JumpStart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy showed that a majority of high school seniors in American failed a test on basic personal finance.

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