AUSTIN – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has leaned in to support the recovery of the $70B Texas restaurant industry. Restaurants in Texas have been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 10,000 restaurants closed permanently and more than 150,000 employees sidelined, according to the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA). Based on the impact to this once-thriving employment sector, TWC voted unanimously to provide support and funding to assist in the rebuilding of this vital industry. Through the approval of innovative one-time projects, funded through a generous donation of $4.9 million from IKEA, TWC has made it possible to create online training videos for restaurant owners and their employees. The project will provide up to $500,000 for the purchase of ServSafe Food Handler and TABC To Go training and certification—credentials foodservice employees are required to maintain in Texas.
“As one of the hardest hit industries by the pandemic, restaurants are working to train their current labor force, hire and re-hire employees, and remain open,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “They are also having to adapt to new business models and changing consumer demand. For example, many must retrofit their business for carry out, curbside, and delivery, and reconfigure their business to address needed social distancing and online ordering demand. We want to provide resources to give them the best opportunities to succeed. If we can help them stay open safely, then that will assist them in keeping their employees, growing and rehiring new workers, and driving the recovery of our Texas economy.”
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the restaurant and foodservice industry. Supporting restaurant operators across the state with best-in-class training as it relates to off premise, contactless transactions, and design will help them begin their recovery and ensure they have the resources needed to thrive once again. The training videos will help businesses to ramp up to return to operations or shift existing operations to remain in compliance with safety protocols. The addition of ServSafe Food Handler and TABC To Go will ensure more than 200,000 prospective employees will have the needed certifications to immediately begin or return to work in the restaurant and foodservice industry.
“The Texas economy cannot fully recover without the recovery of the restaurant and foodservice industry,” said Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D., President and CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association. “We are incredibly grateful to the Texas Workforce Commission for their partnership to ensure our industry not only improves, but returns to being the one of the largest private-sector employers in the State of Texas. TWC has been an incredible partner throughout the pandemic, and with the decision to invest in employers and employees of Texas restaurants, they once again demonstrate their commitment to Texas’ recovery and growth. TRA looks forward to partnering with TWC to make this program a resounding success that will benefit our entire state.
About the Texas Restaurant Association
The Texas Restaurant Association was formed in 1937 to serve as the advocate in Texas and the indispensable resource for the foodservice industry. Today, as a leading business association, TRA represents the state’s $70 billion restaurant industry, which is comprised of more than 50,000 locations and a workforce of 1.3 million employees. Along with the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation, the Association protects, advances, and educates the growing industry.
About the Texas Workforce Commission
The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit www.texasworkforce.org. To receive notifications about TWC programs and services subscribe to our email updates.