Mentoring and Apprenticeship Build Future Leaders In The Service Industry
The service industry plays an important role in empowering millions of people with the jobs, tools, benefits and skills they need to start, learn and build lifelong careers. Often times, these careers are built through positive interaction with those already thriving within the industry. That is why, during the month of May, Path Forward is highlighting the importance of mentoring and apprenticeship programs in restaurants and retail. Through mentoring and apprenticeship, alumni and current stars of the industry can help recruit and train the next generation of retail managers, chefs and CEOs.
Mentoring and Apprenticeship Opportunities in the Industry:
Charlie Trotter was a renowned chef from Chicago who took pride in mentoring young culinary students who wanted to make a name for themselves in the restaurant industry. After he tragically passed away from a stroke in 2013, Trotter’s mother, siblings and son started The Trotter Project, a charitable organization that seeks to unite budding talent interested in the culinary arts, along with the hospitality and service industries, through a variety of mentorship programs designed to educate and inspire the next generation.
The Women In Retail Leadership Circle (WIRLC) is a networking group that offers women in the retail industry a place to learn, connect and find inspiration on how to tackle everyday challenges in their professional lives. WIRLC’s community is comprised of successful women leaders from the retail world who are passionate about helping other women reach their full potential. The organization offers a mentoring program where “big sisters” and “little sisters” are paired up for one-on-one mentoring on a variety of topics in retail and business.
In November of 2016, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and the American Hotel and Lodging Association partnered with the U.S. Department of Labor to develop a new management-level apprenticeship program for employees in the restaurant and hospitality industries. The project will be used to place more than 400 workers into paid apprenticeships, and accelerate their career pathway from entry level to management.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) helps to develop a successful, new generation of retail leaders through its year-long NRF Mentor Program, which fosters one-on-one relationships between industry professionals aspiring to take on leadership roles in retail. The program is available to retail employees whose companies are members of NRF and matches participants based on goals and commonalities across a variety of retail fields, including digital retail, information technology, loss prevention, and marketing.
What Industry Leaders Are Saying About Mentoring and Apprenticeship:
- “There are a lot of kids who want to get into the culinary field. If they have someone who invests in and wants to teach them, they get empowered and want to become the great chefs they know they can be. It’s exciting to be a part of that.” – Richie Farina, former Executive Chef of Moto and Top Chef contestant
- “I have been lucky in that I have worked for and with so many talented people during my career. Rather than singling out one person, I prefer to explain my experience as ‘the right person guided and counseled me at the right time in my career.’ Retailing has afforded me so many challenging and extraordinary opportunities. As an industry, we need talented and innovative minds to sustain the momentum. ” – Karen Katz, President and CEO of Neiman Marcus Group
- “I truly believe in ‘pulling others up the ladder’ as we each advance. I have had so many great mentors in my personal and professional life, and it was those people that inspired me to continue to excel and advance. I owe it not only to my mentors, but to myself, to make sure I am doing the same and encouraging others to reach their own full potential.” – Donna Giordano, President of Ralphs Grocery Company
- “In a nutshell, mentorship is really just a commitment to sharing…There isn’t one way to do something, and along the way we have to make sure not to lose each other on the way to our goal. We’re all working towards the same thing. As a leader, the decisions that I make leave a wake, like in the ocean. As you move, you create these wakes or ripples behind you and you have to make sure that your team is along with you.” – Michael Anthony, Executive Chef of Gramercy Tavern and Untitled