December 2016, Part I
KC Restaurant Owner: Holiday Hiring Allows “Workers To Gain Valuable Skills And Training.” This December, Path Forward is spotlighting the hiring opportunities that exist for people across the country during the holidays. In a recent op-ed for the Kansas City Star, Vic Allred, owner of Jazz, A Louisiana Kitchen, explained that “for millions of Americans, the holidays are a critical time to take on work in retail and restaurants.” He continued: “This provides workers of all ages with not only a chance to keep busy and earn a paycheck, but also to gain valuable skills and training toward fulfilling, successful careers.” Allred not only knows the importance of holiday hiring as an owner, but he also understands firsthand about what it’s like to start in the service sector and climb the career ladder. He began as a dishwasher, and was hired as Kitchen Manager and eventually General Manager of the first Jazz restaurant while finishing his degree. To learn more about holiday hiring in restaurant and retail, check out the Path Forward fact sheet here.
Minnesota Refuel Store Owner Prioritizes His Employees. The latest installment in Path Forward’s state voice series showcases how Lonnie McQuirter, owner of 36 Lyn Refuel Station in Minneapolis, recognizes the important role his employees play in his business. McQuirter expects all staff to be “much more than a cashier” and encourages them to share and discuss news articles and opinion columns that can help them better understand their customers. Truman Danz, who has been with 36 Lyn for two years, said, “I would say that working in a company that values employee and customer interaction is exciting and liberating. Retail is very customer centric now but in most places that only means bending over backwards to accommodate instead of interacting and engaging to find out the why. I value being able to have those interactions because I think they lead to us being able to better serve our core customers.”
Goodwill Program Supports Training, Path To Opportunities In Service Industry. While many people donate clothes to Goodwill Hawaii, donors may be surprised to know that 90 percent of the revenue from these sales fund job training programs help more than 2,500 people in 2015, according to Ivy Ashe of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. Trinity Mangauil, a survivor of domestic violence, was a single mother of four without a high school diploma before entering Goodwill’s First to Work program three years ago. Now, Mangauil is a high school graduate, substance abuse counselor for CARE Hawaii, and she is also taking advantage of opportunities to grow and learn in the service industry by running a cake decorating “hobby business” that she hopes to turn into a full-time career. On her work ethic and how much her life has changed, Manguil said, “You get opportunities, and you’ve got to take them.”
Teaching A New Profession To Those Eager To Learn. On November 27, Ted Perry of Milwaukee’s Fox 6 Now reported on The Tandem, a restaurant that is making strides to employ local residents in a suburb where 40 percent living below the poverty line. Caitlin Cullen, a 29-year-old chef and restaurateur, was not worried about staffing her new venture: “When you yell ‘jobs’ in a neighborhood where people need work, it’s not challenging to find a good staff. Everyone is happy to be here.” Cullen is enthusiastic about teaching people a new profession, and it shows through the people she has hired. Quinterra Aikens, a new employee who is learning to do a number of jobs at the restaurant, said, “The moment I met her I was like, if you’re willing to let me work, I’m here. From the moment she opened her mouth, I said — that’s the boss I want.”
Inside Jobs That Shape Lives. The Atlantic recently featured “Inside Jobs,” a series of interviews with American workers — from train conductors to cashiers to restaurant servers — discussing their jobs. Many of the people profiled spoke to the value of their service sector careers and how their lives had been positively affected by these opportunities. Steve Fischer, a hotel manager in Oklahoma, said of his career, “I really embraced the opportunity to pursue this career path, and this industry really gave me the opportunities for advancement and the training to succeed. I don’t have any formal education background in hospitality, but once I got into the industry, Marriott provided so many training opportunities as well as the opportunity to get certifications.”
Keep up with the Path Forward Coalition by following us on Twitter (@PathFwdWork) and visiting our website. To ensure our biweekly update goes right to your inbox, add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe senders list.