Today in San Francisco’s Chinatown, 26 students graduated from the sixth cycle of the Chinese Progressive Association’s Restaurant Worker Career Ladder Program (RCLP). A vocational training and placement program, RCLP’s goal is to expand the employment skills of limited English speaking Chinese immigrants and help them access stable living-wage employment in the hospitality and service industry.
Students received a certificate of completion and after the program they will continue to receive assistance preparing their resume to help them apply for jobs at hotels, restaurants, and other service industries.
Students spent 18 weeks improving their English, learning about the hospitality and service industries and customer service. They also participated in mock interviews, toured the Holiday Inn at the Fisherman’s Wharf and met with other immigrant workers employed in the industry.
“With the skills acquired in class, students are now working with a team of professionals that has conducted mock interviews and given feedback to each one, and is now making sure everybody has a good resume, knows how to fill out an online application, and is updated twice a week by email on all the jobs that are available. The students are now ready to give back to the community by becoming model employees of San Francisco hotels,” says Ed Rosen, RCLP course instructor.
The Restaurant Worker Career Ladder Program has trained over 100 Chinese immigrants since its inception in 2006 and has helped immigrant workers expand their employment skills. “In a bad economy, when many immigrant workers are forced to stay in low-paying jobs, programs such as RCLP are crucial to helping immigrant workers expand their skills so that they can find more stable work. Positions in the unionized hospitality sector offer living wages, benefits, and a pathway out of poverty,” says Shaw San Liu, Lead Organizer of the Chinese Progressive Association.
About the Restaurant Worker Career Ladder Program:
In 2012, RCLP was held by the Chinese Progressive Association in partnership with the Lillith Group, an organizational development and training consultancy, with the support of UNITE HERE Local 2 and various union hotel employers. Previously, RCLP was conducted in partnership with the San Francisco Labor Council’s STEP Program and City College of San Francisco. Since its inception in 2006, the Restaurant Worker Career Ladder Program has trained over 100 Chinese immigrants in careers in the service and hospitality industry. Last year, STEP helped place 13 of 22 students in jobs in the hospitality and service industries.
The Restaurant Career Ladder is currently funded by the Mayor’s Office of Housing, the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and Asians for Job Opportunities in the Bay Area (AJOB).