September 2016, Part II

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September 2016, Part II

NATIONAL ROUNDUP

New Jersey Retailer On Why Skills Matter. The Path Forward blog profile of third generation business owner Debbie Schaeffer shares an important perspective on how employee training and skills development are a major key to success. Schaeffer’s business, Mrs. G’s Appliances, has a tradition of placing value on employees for the last 81 years. Tom Gray, a Mrs. G’s store manager for over four decades, also emphasized the value of developing skills through working in retail: “…We need to keep our products fresh, up to date and our sales staff trained. It’s all about creating a positive customer experience today.” He not only speaks from his own experience, but Gray’s son is also a general manager at Mrs. G’s after working there during high school and college breaks.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month With The Food Industry’s Rising Stars. With Hispanic Heritage Month in full swing, NBC News profiled five Hispanic rising stars within the food industry. Daniela Soto-Innes began cooking in her native Mexico when she started taking after-school classes at just five years old. When Soto-Innes moved to the United States, she participated in the professional culinary program offered by her high school, and continued to build her experience with internships in Texas, New York City and abroad. Now the chef de cuisine at Cosme in New York City and winner of the James Beard Rising Star Chef award, she says, “I can know everything about my style of Mexican cooking but the minute I go to Peru, to China, I have no idea about anything. That’s what keeps me on my toes, and my feet on the ground. I’m just so happy to have this opportunity.”

Eileen Fisher On Supporting Employees. In a recent Huffington Post Q&A, clothing company Founder and Chairwoman Eileen Fisher discussed how her own work experience helped shape her into the retail leader that she is today. “I think my experience as a young mother during the early years of our company had a direct influence on my commitment to support the health and well-being of our employees and their families,” she recalls. “When I was raising my two kids, I felt pulled between the demands of my work life and my personal life…we try to support our employees with wellness and education programs, personal growth opportunities and flexible work arrangements. I think we build stronger relationships within our companies – and we do better work – when our employees are growing as people and when they feel cared for…”

Service Sector Creates Lifelong Skills. Lorna C. Donatone, head of Sodexo North America and Board Chair of the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF), joined KTNV to discuss how restaurants prepare young people for future careers both inside and outside of the industry. A recent skills survey conducted by the NRAEF not only revealed that one in three individuals start their work life in the industry, but also that the majority of survey respondents said they would recommend starting in a restaurant job to learn invaluable skills like dependability, reliability, team building, and how to adapt to changing environments. Donatone also highlighted the NRA resources available to help prepare youth for a successful start in the industry, including the two-year career technical education program ProStart, as well as Opportunity Youth, which brings local community organizations together to help match unemployed youth with jobs.

Former Teacher Leaves The Classroom For A Career In Retail. On September 15, The Atlantic interviewed West Elm employee Frankie Israel about his career switch from teaching to retail. When Israel moved to Charlotte, North Carolina without a job, he turned to the retail industry as a way to fill time while he looked for a teaching position. Three years later, Israel has climbed the ladder from a part-time seasonal employee to a full time sales and service manager. “It turned out that I ended up enjoying the retail experience more than I was enjoying teaching….When something like this happens and your joys at work completely change, it’s definitely a surprising experience.”

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