March 2016, Part I


March 2016, Part I

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Path Forward Post, the Path Forward coalition’s biweekly newsletter. We look forward to bringing you the latest news on the important role the service industry plays in our economy and in empowering millions of people with the tools, benefits and skills they need to build lifelong careers.


Introducing Path Forward.  On Wednesday, March 2, the Path Forward coalition launched to serve as a voice for businesses across the country that are invested in providing workers a path forward to new opportunities. A joint project of the National Retail Federation (NRF) and the National Restaurant Association (NRA), Path Forward will focus on raising awareness about the important role the service industry plays in strengthening our workforce by empowering millions of people so they have the tools, benefits and skills they need to learn, grow and build lifelong careers. Learn more at

NRA And NRF Heads Stress Value Of Work. In a joint op-ed in The Hill on March 2 titled “The path forward,” the President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association Dawn Sweeney and President and CEO of the National Retail Federation Matthew Shay address the issue of income inequality and the role the service industry plays in providing new opportunities: “There are many things policymakers can do to make sure that promise of the American dream survives in the global economy. Please don’t settle for something counterproductive just because it’s politically expedient to support it. Getting more Americans climbing the ladder is the surest way to reduce income inequality – not keeping some people off the bottom rung to pay others a little more to stay there.”

President Obama Serves Up A Lesson On Jobs In The Service Sector. In a February 25 LinkedIn post titled, “Here’s the Scoop: Why My First Job Mattered,” President Obama shares the important lessons he learned working in the service industry. Recalling his first job serving ice cream to customers as a teenager, the president wrote: “My first summer job wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it taught me some valuable lessons. Responsibility. Hard work. Balancing a job with friends, family, and school.”

Ohio Grocery Store Gives Senior Worker A Sense Of Purpose. Being hired by the Kroger Grocery store in Columbus, Ohio makes 68-year-old George Tannehill feel “blessed.” The February 7 Columbus Dispatch story, Older job-seekers touted to Ohio businesses, on the benefits of hiring older workers also discusses the role the service industry plays in providing job opportunities for all different types of workers. In the story, Tannehill discusses his need to find something that would give him a sense of purpose and meaning again, saying “I’m a person that needs lifelong learning and can’t be doing nothing.”

Cities Leading Minimum Wage Push Also Leading In Hiring Decline. A January 2016 analysis by Investor’s Business Daily on the minimum wage underscores the negative consequences for workers that follow mandated wage hikes. Jed Graham of IBD covered the analysis of six large U.S. cities that saw hiring fade after minimum wage hikes: “Chicago, Oakland, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. – all on the leading edge of the push for big minimum wage hikes – all show worrisome job trends.” Read more here.

Keep up with the Path Forward coalition by following us on Twitter (@PathFwdWork) and visiting our website. To ensure our weekly update goes right to your inbox, add to your safe senders list.