Remember your first job? Judge my following opinions with your comments.
I employ 9 of Spokane’s young adults at any given time. Average age is 19; a formative time. I’ve a crucial responsibility to continue their development. For most, this is their first professional experience. I see it as my job, to start, or continue their development into citizens with determined courage, a deep appreciation of labor, and confidence in gaining any skill. My managers and I have formed a work culture that forces problem solving, quick action, and forgivable missteps. When they transition, they’ll understand that they are solely responsible for their successes and failures, a developed trait needed for true success with their future careers. But, most importantly, they would have worked a common mission, which leads to lasting friendships.
Letters of recommendation populate my laptop. Post taco careers include an appointment to the Culinary Institute of America, degrees in Hospitality Management, Human Resource, Teaching, and Business, along with numerous trade school graduations, and military officer appointments, and enlistments. Others have moved up the pay scale to banking, nursing assistants, management, physical therapy, day care, and counseling. Several marriages and babies have been formed into loving families.
I ask that when you visit any business that employs our city’s young adults, realize that you have been in their position in life as well. Also, think back at the mentors you had then, or events that inspired you, and hope that the young adult working their job has access to the same. Spokane customers have a unique privilege in honoring our youthful workers by helping them at their job. If by chance you visit my group of employees, help them in your own way. Correct them if they falter, calm them if they seem anxious, most importantly, talk to them, directly, or through a review; good or bad.
I’m Frank Schoonover, owner of the Taco Del Mar in Wandermere. I begin the process of moving my employees out as soon as I hire them. I’m a 12-year veteran of the hospitality industry, and a 25-year navy veteran.