Resource December 7, 2018

Meet the Journalist: Melissa McCart

Author:
Everyday Noodle. Image by Melissa McCart. Pennsylvania, 2018.
English

When Taiwan native Mike Chen opened Everyday Noodles in Pittsburgh five years ago, it was the only...

Tony Mao makes hand-pulled noodles at Everyday Noodles. Image by Stephanie Chambers. United States, 2018.
Tony Mao makes hand-pulled noodles at Everyday Noodles. Image by Stephanie Chambers. United States, 2018.

Mike Chen, owner of Everyday Noodles, told Pittsburgh Post-Gazette restaurant critic Melissa McCart that he was worried his restaurant labor practices at Everyday Noodles in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill would become outlawed under the Trump administration. By 2017, with the introduction of "Buy American, Hire American," he was no longer able to recruit cooks who knew the art of noodle-pulling from Taiwan—the foundation of labor for his restaurant.

Chen's concerns may seem niche, but his is not the only restaurant or business in Pittsburgh that is suffering because of the labor shortage or lack of workers with specialized skills. That skilled workers from abroad are no longer an option in the way they once were hurts cities like Pittsburgh, economically on the rebound with small immigrant communities.

While meeting former chefs in Taiwan, talking to government employees in Taipei, and visiting the restaurant that served as Chen's inspiration, McCart was able to report on something that's happening not just across Pittsburgh, but across the country as the U.S. closes its doors to international workers.

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