October 2016, Part I


October 2016, Part I


Committing To New Opportunities For Youth. As part of a series of White House announcements made yesterday in support of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, restaurant and retail companies are among more than 40 companies that signed onto the #FirstJob Compact. The Compact is a private sector commitment that serves to share best practices for recruiting, hiring, and supporting out-of-school, out-of-work young Americans.  A Path Forward statement in support of the announcement highlights the role the service industry plays in providing opportunities to start and grow a career: “The service sector not only understands the value of investing in job training and educational programs that empower workers with new skills to build their resumes and move up the career ladder, but also the benefits of promoting a more diverse workforce today and for future generations. This compact demonstrates the new opportunities that can be created through public-private partnerships that promote upward mobility and build opportunity for all Americans.”

Empowering People Through Food. Thrillist recently profiled Mike Curtin, CEO of DC Central Kitchen, which converts leftovers from local restaurants, wholesalers, and farms into over 5,000 meals a day. A large portion of the nonprofit’s staff are students at its Culinary Job Training Program who have “never used a spatula or whisk before.” The program focuses on empowerment by teaching four classes on kitchen and job training, as well as three remote classes to engage the broader community. In the story, Thrillist spotlights the program’s success in helping students: “Curtin offers his students job skills that can lead to a steady paycheck and a second chance on life — less than 2 percent of his students return to prison after graduation.” Curtin is quoted as stating, “[My students] are the afflicted, homeless, unemployed, or formerly incarcerated…They have had trouble getting a job, but we are hiring.”

Introducing Retail To The Workforce Of Tomorrow. Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation, authored a blog on October 3 about the NRF Foundation’s Retail’s Academic Symposium, a two-day event designed to reintroduce 200 undergraduate business school professors to the retail industry. The goal of this event is to showcase retail companies so educators can promote these career paths to the workforce of tomorrow because, according to Davis, “many college students don’t fully understand how dynamic and sophisticated the modern retail industry really is.” On why the symposium targeted educators instead of students, Davis writes, “Every day, each year, they engage with the young, highly skilled talent the retail industry will need for sustained success. And if you impact one professor you can, in turn, impact hundreds or even thousands of students.”

Bill Proposes New Job Programs For Youth. The Opening Doors for Youth Act of 2016 was recently introduced to authorize three new programs to improve the lives of opportunity youth, a cohort of more than five million teenagers and young adults who are disconnected from school and work. “This disconnection leaves them without the solid foundation of education, early work experience, and the skills they need to get on the path toward a good job,” said a ranking member of the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee. “The Opening Doors for Youth Act will put young people to work and support community efforts to keep youth connected to school and training.” The bill proposes grant programs to support jobs for youth ages 14 to 24, year-round employment for those ages 16 to 24, and local community partnerships to improve high school graduation rates and youth employment.

Preserving The Pastrami Palace. On October 3, The New York Post published an article about Sammy Music, a restaurateur who has recently decided to raise $5 million to save the famous Carnegie Deli from closing at the end of the year. Music’s connection to the restaurant is not just that of nostalgia. He started his career in the service industry as a dishwasher at the deli. Now, as an owner of multiple Manhattan hot-spots, Music feels that by saving the restaurant, he’ll be doing a service to the city of New York. He stated, “I said, ‘Wow, this is an institution; it’s like taking the Statue of Liberty away from New York or the Empire State Building.’ ”

Barista Training And Economic Opportunity. Starbucks recently announced plans to open new job training cafes for young workers in low- to medium-income neighborhoods across the country. According to the Press-Telegram, Starbucks opened the stores to help 16 to 24-year-old Americans who are not currently working, and employees that are hired will be given the chance to take Arizona State University courses free of charge. There are plans to open stores in Long Beach, Baltimore, Birmingham, Seattle and Miami.

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