January 2018, Part II
The Transformation Of Retail Employment. In an interview with CBS’ Steve Greenberg, the National Retail Federation’s Ellen Davis discussed how the evolution of retail continues to create career opportunities for millions of Americans. Davis noted that as the nation’s largest private-sector employer, the industry offers a breadth of positions beyond traditional retail, from warehouse operations and supply chain, to cybersecurity and engineering. “Customers are changing, companies are changing, jobs are changing,” said Davis. “Our industry is constantly being disrupted…Who wouldn’t want to be in an industry like that?”
Dallas-Based Restaurant Company Invests In Workforce Education. This week, casual-dining operator Brinker International, Inc. began offering Chili’s and Maggiano’s employees a no-cost education program, “Best You EDU.” Each participant has access to coaching support as they navigate online pathways to foundational, GED or associate degrees. “Our hopes are that we can steer these people into a career into hospitality,” Brinker chief people officer Rick Badgley told Nation’s Restaurant News. “Now, more than ever, it’s important to show the workforce the career opportunities.”
Retail’s Most Important Asset: Its People. Inditex CEO Pablo Isla recently penned a Wall Street Journal piece on the four key pillars of today’s retail industry. According to Isla, retailers must adapt to changes in the traditional environment and offer customers new experiences, while also following fundamental values. His first pillar pointed to understanding the industry’s most valuable asset as its people. “It is vital to have a motivated team of professionals and make it easy for them to develop their creative talent, empower them to take initiative and allow them to play a role in decision making,” explained Isla.
Community College Partners With MGM On Culinary Training. On January 17, WMAC profiled a new culinary and hospitality training center affiliated with Holyoke Community College (HCC). The 20,000-square foot facility is designed to prepare a skilled workforce for the forthcoming Springfield MGM Casino, which expects to hire 200 line cooks. Students will have access to state-of-the-art technology and class offerings that can be used towards one of HCC’s five associate degrees and certificate programs. “We’ve worked with MGM not only to come in and demonstrate techniques and best practices but also make connections with students in terms of internships and job placements,” added Warren Leigh, professional chef and culinary arts department chairman.
Second Chances In The Service Industry. Recently, The Clarion Ledger interviewed Stacey Spiehler, the top-voted server in an online poll of the Jackson, Mississippi metro area. Spiehler started working in restaurants as a teenager where she remained until leaving the workforce to become a stay-at-home mother. After struggling with addiction and divorce, Spiehler took on a waitressing job at Mellow Mushroom to turn her life around. She was offered a new opportunity at eatery Fine & Dandy last year. “When I desperately needed a job, the restaurant industry welcomed me with open arms,” Spiehler said.
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