August 2016, Part I
Celebrating Women In The Retail Industry. On July 27, the National Retail Federation teamed up with QVC at the Democratic National Convention for an event celebrating Women in Retail. The event, which was hosted at the National Constitution Center, focused on the continuing contributions that women have made to the industry as a whole.
Education For The Future. In “Amazon: 7,000 blue-collar employees have trained for careers outside the company,” Ángel González details the Amazon’s “Career Choice Program” in the Seattle Times. Amazon’s program pays 95 percent of the tuition for classes in fields the company determines are in high demand. This type of training program is a departure from the standard tuition-reimbursement programs. While most corporations reimburse employees for coursework related to their careers, Amazon prepays most of the tuition. More than 7,000 employees have taken this path to further education, and the company plans to continue this program for years to come.
Service Sector Second Chances. On July 26, Forbes profiled Apple-Metro, the New York franchisee of Applebee’s that consistently hires former inmates and puts them on track to become managers. Zane Tankel, cofounder and chief executive of Apple-Metro, grew up in Paterson, New Jersey and knows the importance of offering people second chances at having a good life. Assistant kitchen manager Marcellus Benbow reflected fondly on his starting opportunity as a broiler cook: “Applebee’s saved my life.” Thankful for the long-lasting change that he was able to make, he continued: “There is nothing that can make me want to go back to being that person.”
Young Professionals With Day Jobs Take On Restaurant Work. On July 21, Washington City Paper published an article, “Nine-to-Fivers Are Picking Up Part-Time Restaurant Work—But Not Always for the Cash,” profiling a “growing legion” of professionals taking on secondary jobs, not just for the extra income but also because they want to be part of a burgeoning dining scene. Heather Messera began working at Rose’s Luxury in 2013 when she was between jobs. She decided to remain at the restaurant while working another full-time job because of her passion for the dining industry. “So many jobs in D.C., you’re kind of a cog in a wheel of a big machine, but in the restaurant industry, you have the ability to change someone’s day every five minutes,” Messier said. “That’s why I didn’t quit when I got a full-time day job. It’s Rose’s, I can’t quit Rose’s.”
The Importance Of First Jobs. In a recent addition of The New York Times, Lesley M. M. Blume wrote about her first job working at Toys in the Attic, a toy store based in Montclair, New Jersey. Although Blume did not foresee herself working for this business, she reflects throughout the piece on the invaluable skills that this job allowed her to gain. Because of working with and serving people of completely different backgrounds than hers, Blume says, “I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that three years at Toys in the Attic influenced my disposition, and helped shape my ability to sit in peace with people from all walks of life.” Now a journalist, she sees how much this once part-time after school activity has changed her world for the better.
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