December 2017, Part I


December 2017, Part I


How The Service Sector Can Help Launch Careers. Recently, Connor Wolf of Inside Sources profiled Path Forward’s efforts to elevate the discussion on the future of work and skills training in the service industry. “Among the many exciting things about this coalition is the fact that it’s a bipartisan coalition,” said Senior Advisor Broderick Johnson. Senior Advisor Robert Doar added: “The Path Forward Coalition’s principal goal is to remind Americans of something they know already, which is employment in the service-sector offers a lot of opportunities for advancement and offers some people who are particularly struggling a start to get them over the poverty line.”


Walmart Incorporates Technology To Help Customers & Associates. On November 21, the Jacksonville Business Journal examined how Walmart uses technology to increase efficiency for employees and customers during the holidays. The retailer has incorporated a VR program into two training academies in Jacksonville, allowing new staff to prepare for holiday scenarios year-round. “This is an effort to take away some of the repeatable, administrative tasks and allow associates to focus on taking care of customers. It helps customers and associates both,” said Jimmy Clark, regional manager for North Florida.


From Summer Job To Retail Leadership. Last week, Footwear News profiled Liz Rodbell, President of Lord & Taylor. At age 16, Rodbell worked her first job in retail selling footwear at a Springfield, Massachusetts department store. Shortly after earning a degree in merchandising and completing a training program at Abraham & Straus, Rodbell was recruited by Lord & Taylor as a dress buyer, and has climbed the company’s ranks for over three decades. “Once I arrived, I never looked back. It was such an exciting place to be, offering me incredible opportunities for personal growth,” Rodbell said.


It’s A Family Affair. On November 12, the Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote about HOUSEpitality Family, a restaurant group with 350 employees across five locations. Founder and owner Kevin Healy got his start in restaurants as a dishwasher at age 15. About a year ago, the company implemented a training program, empowering employees who want to move up and assume more responsibility. “We are seeing often potential inside them that maybe they don’t see. And when you give them the road map and opportunity to succeed, I think that’s one of the keys to our low turnover,” Healy said.


Florida Organizations Provide At-Risk Youth With Job Training. Recently, the Orlando Sentinel explored how central Florida organizations offer at-risk youth with training for service industry employment. Grand Outreach, Second Harvest, and Osceola High School’s Academy of Hospitality Program are among several groups helping at-risk youth create a pathway to success, partnering with restaurants to provide instruction on topics from how to run a full-service kitchen to food safety. Ron Thomas, manager at participating restaurant The Smiling Bison said: “We want to give these kids exposure to the restaurant world, and show them what it’s like to let them see if they want to spend the rest of their life doing this.”
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