April 2016, Part I

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April 2016, Part I

NATIONAL ROUNDUP

Give People Tools To Enjoy And Move Up In Their Jobs. In “Walmart has a plan to keep retail workers out of dead-end jobs,” Tech Insider’s Chris Weller reports on a $5.5 million Walmart Foundation grant to support a partnership with the Aspen Institute, which will research ways to help retail workers more easily advance within their companies. According to the report, researchers will examine a range of resources such as apprenticeships and financial counseling that could “give people the tools to enjoy and move up in their jobs.”

Big Macs And English Class. The McDonald’s “English Under the Arches” program is helping its employees learn English through online and in-person sessions. The Asbury Park Press recently profiled a graduating class of 11 women in “McDonald’s burgers with side of English.” The women who completed this 32-hour course are now fluent in both Spanish and English and all are now managers or manager trainees.

Washington Post Says $15 Is The Wrong Goal.  In an April 5 editorial, “$15 is the wrong goal for minimum-wage advocates,” the editorial board raised concerns about the broader economic risks that would follow a significant increase to a $15 minimum wage following the recent actions in California and New York. The board explained, “The obvious risks — borne disproportionately by the very-low-income workers whom minimums are meant to help — are apparent even to advocates of the $15 minimum, as the many loopholes and caveats built into the California and New York increases implicitly demonstrate.”

Employees Credit Food Market Chain For Caring About Employees. Wegmans Food Markets, a staple on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list since 1998, ranked in at fourth on the 2016 list. Workers at the family-owned business explained that “management cares about its employees and always asks how we are doing when we come into work or are just shopping.” Wegmans offers employees an online system to manage availability and scheduling, and also programs to promote wellness, including health screenings and cooking classes.

New York’s Minimum Wage Will Prevent Some From Starting First Job. Many Americans attribute valuable lessons in responsibility and hard work to their first summer job, as President Obama shared in his February 25 LinkedIn post, “Here’s the Scoop: Why My First Job Mattered.” However, in the April 10 New York Post story “How the hike in minimum wage will hurt students this summer”, Gregory Bresiger reports that business owners are expecting New York’s recent minimum wage hike to negatively impact high school and college students this summer. An owner of a major seasonal business on Long Island explained: “We have always hired as many young people as we could each summer and have enjoyed working with them, but this new state law mandating $15-an-hour salaries will cut into our ability to hire.”

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