With your support and energy, 2011 has been an extraordinary year of growth for ROC! We have expanded to include 9 chapters in 9 cities with over 9,000 restaurant workers members and 50 restaurant employer partners.

Together, we also managed to accomplish some pretty amazing things this year, such as:

1.       The National Diners’ Guide: On December 1st, we released our first National Restaurant Diners’ Guide,  a tool to educate diners on the policies and practices of the top 150 fine dining, casual, and fast food restaurant establishments across the country, as well that of over 30 of our responsible restaurant partners around the country.

2.       US Department Of Labor (DOL) Women’s Bureau Briefing: After the successful release of comprehensive industry reports in Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington, DC earlier this year, we collapsed the more than 4,323 surveys of restaurant workers we have collected over the last eight years into a national data set, with extraordinary results. On Thursday, November 17th, ROC United was featured at a U.S. DOL Women’s Bureau Roundtable on Gender Pay Equity in the Restaurant Industry, in which we shared data from this national data set on how the federal minimum wage for tipped workers of $2.13 greatly exacerbates the industry’s gender wage gap.

3.       Expansion of Workforce Development Programs:  ROC is now training more than 1,000 low-wage workers annually to advance to living-wage jobs, in every city in which we have a ROC chapter nationwide. Most excitingly, in several cities, we have entered into a partnership with local community colleges in which our trainees are receiving ‘banked college credit’ for completing job training programs with us.

4.       Launch of ROC STARS Program: In order to both increase our ability to educate more federal policymakers nationwide and to respond to overwhelming demand from workers, allies, and employers around the country, we launched ROC STARS. ROC STARS are led by volunteer restaurant workers in 20 new cities in 2012 and will engage local allies including people of faith, students, and diners around our federal policy priorities –an increase to the tipped minimum wage and paid sick leave.

Stay posted. . .we have some big things planned for 2012.