AUSTIN – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) in partnership with the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) is launching a new Restaurant Recovery Training certification portal for prospective restaurant workers. Part of the larger Restaurant Recovery Initiative, which launched recently, the training allows free and flexible online training to quickly prepare workers for restaurant industry jobs.
“This portal is another example of TWC’s commitment to providing tools to better connect Texans to jobs,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “Quality training programs like the Restaurant Recovery Training Initiative ensure greater access to jobs, many of which are at small businesses.”
As one of the most regulated industries for the health, safety, and sanitation of its employees and customers, a career in the foodservice industry requires a certification in food and/or alcohol safety. All restaurant employees in Texas are required to have a valid food handler certification card. Employees in establishments that serve beer, wine, and mixed beverages are also required to have a valid Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) approved seller-server certification.
TWC’s new portal makes these courses available online at no cost to the employer nor potential employee. Jobseekers interested in obtaining one or both of the certifications can access the training online.
“State licensing requirements are vital for health and safety, but they shouldn’t be an impediment to getting people hired and restaurants opening fully,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “This new training program provides the quality, training and standards of excellence that are required, conveniently online, and for free.”
Neither the businesses nor trainees will need to pay for the online classes. The cDurriculum in both the ServSafe Food Handler and #1 TABC Certification by TRA program are tailored to maintain rigorous adherence to state guidelines and ensure the participants successfully demonstrate their knowledge of and adherence to safe and responsible practices.
“The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of health and safety protocols and Texas employers have gone above and beyond to meet these protocols, and create innovative solutions to run their businesses successfully,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “TWC has been a longstanding partner with our restaurants, especially since the pandemic, and we will continue to provide them with legendary customer service to ensure their overall success.”
The initiative is part of the Restaurant Recovery Initiative, which launched in May with a series of employer-focused videos outlining innovative new business models and technologies that allow restaurants to operate much more safely and efficiently, not just in a pandemic, but for the future beyond.
“Ensuring that new employees are able to be trained to meet the standards for food sanitation and alcohol safety required is key to supporting the revival of Texas restaurant industry, the state’s 2nd largest private employer,” said Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D., President and CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association. “We are grateful for the continued partnership and support of the TWC to make entering the industry as attainable as possible for those interested in a career in foodservice.”
The costs for this project come from a one-time grant from IKEA, which was accepted by the commission in December.