May 2018, Part I
Retailers Scout For Tech Talent. Leading retailers unveiled plans to bolster their technology efforts last week, with Recode reporting that Home Depot will hire over 1,000 new tech workers and the San Jose Mercury News reporting that Walmart Labs will add 150 employees to its Bay Area workforce of 2,000. Both companies are recruiting for roles such as software engineers and product managers to develop digital tools that improve their retail and distribution efficiency. “The fact that Walmart can attract the same caliber of talent as these tech giants is a testament to the scope, breadth, quality, culture, and impact of Walmart’s technology operations,” Walmart Labs CTO Jeremy King explained.
Students Compete For Culinary Scholarships. The Providence Journal recently profiled the 17th Annual National ProStart Invitational, where teams from high school-level culinary arts programs in 45 states competed for $200,000 in scholarships. Hosted on April 27 and 28 by the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation, the competition featured a panel of industry professionals who judged contestants on meal preparation and their ability to solve everyday challenges faced by managers. Herndon Career Center won first place in culinary arts and Wilbur Cross High School took home first place in restaurant management.
Mind The (Productivity) Gap. Glossy recently explored Gap Inc.’s digital-focused policies to improve sales associate productivity, as well as a new mobile app that helps employees manage shifts and make schedule changes. The efforts are based on an employee productivity study commissioned by Gap in 2015, which found that establishing a “more stable schedule” aided by technology correlated to higher sales. “A lot of times, companies are focused very heavily on the customer experience and forget how important it is to think about employees first. It can have great returns. It’s an important place to focus and hone in on to take care of their employees,” said Andrew Park, VP of customer experience strategy at InMoment.
“Top Chef” Fundraiser Inspires Careers. Last week, the Capital Times wrote on Georgia O’Keeffe Middle School’s Top Chef-inspired fundraiser, where students partner with local Madison chefs to learn how to prepare their signature dishes and navigate the kitchen. Principal Tony Dugas started the competition to provide students with a way to discover postsecondary options while simultaneously raising funds for the school. “The kids are working side-by-side with experts to explore new fields, learn new skills and build a foundation for their futures and really know what it takes to get to that place,” Dugas said.
Partnership Funds Workforce Development. On April 24, Google.org and Walmart announced a $5 million grant to Opportunity@Work, the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and the Drucker Institute, reported Arkansas Online. Each organization focuses on skills development to help Americans adapt to changes in the workplace. “Helping people identify and easily acquire job-relevant skills—and helping employers recognize which prospective employees have the right skills—will unlock meaningful opportunities for advancement for people across the community, and strengthen the businesses that hire them,” said Walmart CSO Kathleen McLaughlin.
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