August 2017, Part II


August 2017, Part II

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Retail & Restaurant Jobs. In a recent radio interview on the July jobs report, Path Forward Senior Advisors Broderick Johnson and Robert Doar discussed how the leisure and hospitality sector, which includes restaurant and retail, added 62,000 jobs in July. Doar pointed to the service sector as an economic driver: “Sometimes we get hung up on particular focus on manufacturing, or high tech, even government, or health care, but the fact of the matter with 30 million jobs in this one sector is a big part of whether our economy is moving forward or standing still.” Johnson added: “Violence-reduction strategies have to include making sure that young men of color especially have good first job opportunities, and without question the service industry is such an important part of making sure those strategies and those young people succeed.”


Three Students Create The Ultimate Handbag For NRF Scholarship. On August 3, the Dallas Morning News reported on three University of North Texas graduates whose entry in the National Retail Federation’s Student Challenge scholarship competition earned each of them not only $5,000 in scholarships, but also a chance to work with designer and HSN regular Danielle DiFerdinando. Their success led to positions today at top retailers Williams-Sonoma Home, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Michaels. “It all started with a school project at UNT in hopes that we could get scholarship money, and now it’s progressed into this incredible opportunity to represent this thing we’ve worked so hard to accomplish,” said scholarship recipient McKenzie Hibler.


Roly Poly Embraces Innovation To Drive Sales & Empower Employees. Last week, Fast Casual reported on how self-order kiosks at a Roly Poly Sandwiches in Birmingham, Alabama are driving sales and helping staff work more efficiently. The restaurant location is one of many service sector businesses that is integrating innovative technology into their operations to not only benefit employers and consumers, but also to empower employees. “That way, we can bring the person from the register to the back and help in the kitchen,” franchisee Matt Macke said. “We get things done faster and they (the employees) can go home earlier.”


Western Clothing Company Founder Lassos Wrangler. Recently, the San Luis Obispo Tribune profiled 26-year old Quincy Freeman, founder of western clothing company, Rodeo Quincy. Freeman grew up on a cattle ranch and uses that childhood setting as inspiration for her fashion design. While at Cal Poly studying Agricultural Communication, she was encouraged by Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship co-founder Jonathan York to compete in a series of elevator pitch competitions. Eventually, Freeman won the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization’s national contest and went on to start her own clothing line, which now employs five full-time employees and recently collaborated with Wrangler.


Family-Owned Cheesecake Bakery Celebrates 42 Years. On August 10, Crain’s New York Business profiled Eileen Avezzano, founder of Eileen’s Special Cheesecake in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. In December, Avezzano will celebrate 42 years at the same location since its inception, and she has no plans to stop building her business. Avezzano runs the shop with her two daughters, and their longest-tenured employee has been with the bakery for 36 years. “I went through a lot of stumbling blocks growing the business,” Avezzano said. “But I call this our lucky corner. ”


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