February 2017, Part I
50 Years Later, Maine Restaurant Owner Reflects On Service Sector Start. In an op-ed for The Bangor Daily News, Governor’s Restaurants operator Mike Carney shared how his five decades of experience in the industry have shown him the opportunities that service sector jobs create for millions of Americans and tens of thousands of residents in Maine. He explained: “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.” Carney not only knows the importance from his work in restaurants, but he also has firsthand experience climbing the career ladder in retail. Recalling his first job in his father’s department store, he said: “Not only was the experience fun…I always found it to be noble and rewarding work, and it was my pleasure to join the business as soon as I could reach the cash register.”
Middle School Entrepreneur Helps Shape Retail’s Future. CNBC recently profiled twelve-year-old Mikaila Ulmer, one of the honorees on the National Retail Federation’s List of People Shaping Retail’s Future 2017. After Mikaila was stung by bees, rather than being upset, she decided to learn more about them. This led to an idea for her own retail business: using local honey to sweeten her grandmother’s flaxseed lemonade recipe. In fact, Mikaila recently landed a deal on the TV show Shark Tank, and her lemonade is now a national product sold in retail stores across the country. Although her first priority is finishing middle school, Mikaila’s business responsibilities have helped her to build important skills for the future, including learning how to deposit money orders, check the company email, post to social media, and lead entrepreneurship workshops.
Walmart Incorporates Employee Feedback Into Skills Training Program. On January 26, Walmart announced plans to accelerate its “Pathways” program, a six-month training course introduced last year that new employees must complete in order to receive pay raises. The Wall Street Journal reported that although Pathways will be abbreviated to 90 days, it will continue to teach core retail skills, teamwork, customer service and punctuality. After holding a number of listening sessions in 59 stores across all 50 states, Walmart learned that employees felt that faster promotion was needed to help new associates stay engaged and “feel more confident in job skills.”
Second Chances For Brighter Futures. In a recent article for Fast Company, Eillie Anzilotti provides an in-depth look at business owners who offer former inmates a second chance at a meaningful career. One of the these business leaders is Brandon Chrostowski, owner of Edwins restaurant and founder of the Edwins Leadership & Restaurant Institute. After Chrostowski was arrested as a teen, he decided renew his focus on what he wanted out of life, taking classes at the Culinary Institute of America before working as a chef in restaurants in Paris and New York. Now, he is committed to helping people who are in the same situation that he once was. Chrostowski explains: “I wanted to build out an idea of a restaurant school that would afford people the same break that I received when I was young.”
Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of. Erin Durkin of the New York Daily News reports that New York City has recently implemented a three-month, paid training program to employ jobless young adults ages 18 to 24 and offer them a start to a lasting career in which they grow and thrive. The program will provide up to 50 trainees hands-on experience in some of the city’s most popular restaurants, such as Eataly and Momofuku, to prepare them for entry-level jobs. Of the initiative, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “Thanks to leaders in the restaurant industry, we are allowing young individuals who find themselves out of school and out of work to gain the skills and experience needed to begin a successful career in the culinary field.”
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