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Vice Chair Wala Blegay to Join One Fair Wage and RAISE High Road Restaurants to Announce ‘Keep Restaurant Workers in Prince George's County Grant Award Recipients
Prince George’s County Restaurants to Receive $150,000 in Grant Awards
Prince George’s County Council Vice Chair Wala Blegay Esq. (District 6), and At Large Council Member Calvin Hawkins, II, will join One Fair Wage and RAISE High Road Restaurants on Friday, June 16, 2023, at 12 noon, to officially announce the first cohort of "Keep Restaurant Workers in Prince George's County" grant recipients. The announcement will take place at Bistro64, 6494 Marlboro Pike, in District Heights, Maryland.
The Keep Restaurant Workers in Prince George’s County Grant program supports BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color)-owned restaurants and aims to bolster higher wages and encourage fair labor practices in an industry that continues to struggle post-pandemic. The first cohort of grant recipients includes Lulus Gourmet Vietnamese Cuisine in Laurel, Bistro64 in District Heights, Jodeem Food Express LLC in Greenbelt, and Azteca in College Park. These restaurants have committed, with program support, to transitioning all staff to a minimum $15 per hour plus tips pay structure and to the implementation of equitable employment practices.
Vice Chair Blegay says the Keep Restaurant Workers in Prince George’s County Grant program will support the local restaurant industry, which has been slow to recover from the pandemic.
“The restaurant industry in Prince George’s County is facing a staffing crisis. As our neighbors in the District of Columbia raise their minimum wage substantially, our local businesses struggle to retain their workforce. The 'Keep Restaurant Workers in Prince George's County Grant Program is an essential initiative in our ongoing effort to sustain local talent and ensure a resilient restaurant industry,” said Blegay, adding, “By supporting our businesses in their transition to higher wages, we are not only boosting worker pay but also increasing employment rates and the attractiveness of our sector. As a Council Member representing a district with a high concentration of local eateries, I am excited to see the impact of this grant in our community.”
"The Keep Restaurant Workers in Prince George's County Grant program is a strategic response to the continuing mass exodus of workers from the restaurant industry. This is particularly crucial considering that wages in neighboring DC will soon be five times those in Prince George’s County," says Saru Jayaraman, President of One Fair Wage. "Our goal is to retain local talent and ensure a resilient restaurant industry in Prince George's County."
The Keep Restaurant Workers in Prince George's County Grant program was developed to counter wage competition and the restaurant industry's ongoing worker exodus. The funding plays a critical role in facilitating staff hiring, or rehiring and transitioning from Maryland's current subminimum wage of $3.63 to a fair wage of $15 per hour, in addition to tips.
WHAT: Keep Restaurant Workers in Prince George's County Grant Program Awards
WHEN: Friday, June 16, 2023, 12 noon
WHERE: Bistro 64; 6494 Marlboro Pike; District Heights, Maryland