Every hotel manager or owner knows that at its core, the hotel industry is about the people who work in and support the industry.
The problem, unfortunately, is in finding them.
More than 8 million Americans work in hospitality at the moment. While we generally celebrate reports that the national unemployment rate has dipped to a 50-year low, the dwindling labor pool means hotel general managers are struggling to fill openings across the board.
In a humming economy, hotel operators aren’t just competing with each other. They’re also up against construction firms, retail stores and health care organizations hungry for the same workers.
Industry leaders recognize they need to do a better job of making sure potential employees understand the industry can be a good place to carve out a career.
The good news is that the American Hotel & Lodging Association is working to address the issue by launching a new campaign this year called Hospitality is Working.
The goals of the campaign include enrolling 50,000 candidates into new and existing apprenticeship programs in the next five years.
Over the same time period, the campaign aims to certify 125,000 job-seekers and current employees with industry certifications and train and certify 8,000 Opportunity Youth, ages 16 to 24, and connect them to potential employers in the hospitality industry in markets of high need.
The campaign also plans to award more than $5 million in scholarships and help more than 5,000 hospitality employees earn a college degree at no cost in the next five years.
“The Hospitality Is Working campaign underscores what the hotel industry is doing proactively to recruit and retain talent around supporting our workforce, protecting our employees and guests, and investing in our communities. Our commitment to investing in the next generation is stronger than ever. And along with AHLA’s members, we are focused on advancing our mission to bridge the employment gap and make our communities even more vibrant,” said Rosanna Maietta, president of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation and executive vice president of communications at AHLA.
Welcome news, indeed!