Lately, there have been a number of protests held around the country regarding increasing the minimum wage to at least $15 per hour. These protests have been targeting the restaurant industry.
Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is not the answer to the job debate in the United States. The restaurant industry is one of the few that has been adding jobs despite the economic downturn.
The restaurant industry is one of opportunity — nine out of 10 salaried restaurant employees started in hourly positions, and it is the first job for nearly one in three. Restaurant jobs are a great training ground for all careers — these jobs teach critical skills including personal responsibility, teamwork, discipline and accountability.
The restaurant industry is vital to our economic growth. More than 10 percent of the U.S. workforce holds jobs in food service. And while employment nationwide grew by just 1.5 percent in 2012, restaurant industry employment grew 2.4 percent.
As our economy continues to recover, we should focus on preparing workers for high-growth positions and helping businesses expand, not on implementing policies that would eliminate jobs and shutter local businesses.
Patrick C. Conway
The writer is president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association (prla.org).
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.