August 2017, Part I
Walmart Foundation Donates $1.8 Million To Retail Language Program. Recently, SuperMarket News reported on the Walmart Foundation’s $1.8 million donation to expand the National Immigration Forum’s Skills and Opportunity for the New American Workforce retail language program. Since its inception in 2016, the program has focused on helping retail workers with limited English language skills succeed in their jobs, assisting over 500 employees at various companies, including Kroger, Publix and Whole Foods. In the first year, 17 percent of program participants received promotions after 12 weeks of English language training. The Walmart Foundation’s funding will be used to refine this curriculum. “With the retail industry supporting 42 million American jobs, we recognize that we have the ability to foster greater economic mobility for millions of working Americans,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Walmart.
Restaurant Hiring In The Fast Lane. Philly Voice recently reported on how technology is helping the service industry meet employment needs and workers take on shifts and take advantage of the flexibility the industry offers. The July 29 article details how the app, Jobletics, is changing flexible scheduling in the restaurant industry. App users, or “Jobletes,” consist of hosts, servers, cooks and bussers that are approved for open shifts with participating restaurants, caterers, food trucks, hotels and markets after completing an intense application process. Jobletics helps employees set their own schedules while also assisting employers that find themselves in scheduling binds, allowing for temporary work to translate into long term jobs with participating companies.
Virtual Reality Becoming Service Sector Reality. On July 28, Washington City Paper profiled Justin Rosenberg, founder of fast-casual restaurant honeygrow, and his latest training tool: virtual reality. Rosenberg’s company is no stranger to bringing new technology into the workplace, as they previously installed ordering kiosks that utilize a video game that rewards money into their rewards program. Now, they are incorporating virtual reality technology that Rosenberg hopes will engage employees and make lessons like food safety and customer service stick. “This isn’t replacing training, but it’s a cool way to get them engaged,” Rosenberg said.
Delaware ProStart Students Awarded Scholarships. Three Delaware high school graduates have been awarded scholarships to further their education in the culinary arts according to a July 21 story in the Cape Gazette. Based off their performance in the Delaware Restaurant Association’s ProStart culinary program, the three budding chefs Beatriz Balderas-Ramirez, Fatima Flores, and Zoe Jeffrey, were awarded with $15,000 in scholarships. They plan to attend the Culinary Institute of America and Johnson & Wales University, respectively. “I want to shape future chefs by teaching. My instructors inspired me to do so through their passion and care for their students,” said Jeffrey, who worked her way up to the bakery manager position at a chain grocery store.
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