Collaboration on Culinary Workforce Program Aims to Support Local Restaurants  

Fairfax City, VA – Addressing the staffing hurdles in the restaurant sector, Fairfax City and the Town of Vienna’s economic development teams are pioneering a culinary workforce initiative. This collaborative effort aims to revitalize the local restaurant industry by offering specialized job training and funneling an adept workforce to meet the industry’s demands.

Insights into staffing needs were collected through a recent survey, with the next interactive session scheduled for September 28 at 9 a.m. via Zoom, inviting further feedback. Natalie Monkou, Economic Development Director for the Town of Vienna, emphasized utilizing these insights to craft a program responsive to local restaurants’ exact needs.

The initiative was born out of the post-COVID-19 challenges, particularly staffing crises and skill shortages, that restaurants universally faced. Both jurisdictions have seen their food scenes flourish and diversify, further highlighted by successful Restaurant Week campaigns, despite these hurdles.

Tara Borwey, Fairfax City’s Economic Development Programs Manager, underscored the power of collaboration, stating, “By partnering up with regional agencies, we enhance the effectiveness of our programs, strengthening our communities’ economic backbone through a robust culinary workforce.”

The program’s fine-tuning continues, driven by survey findings and ongoing dialogue with local enterprises, with no definitive launch date announced.