The American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Hospitality is Working program will train “Opportunity Youth” between 16 and 24 for jobs in the hotel industry. Participating cities are Orlando, Florida; Dallas, Texas; Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and Washington, D.C.

THE AMERICAN HOTEL & Lodging Association is working with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to provide $500,000 in grants to improve the labor market in six cities. The grants will go to local community organizations through AHLA’s American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation.

AHLA announced its Hospitality is Working campaign at USCM’s winter meeting this week. This year’s target communities are Orlando, Florida; Dallas, Texas; Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and Washington, D.C. The program is targeted toward 16- to 24-year-olds who are out of school and in the workforce to prepare them for jobs in the hospitality industry.

AHLA expects to train and certify 8,000 “Opportunity Youth” and connect them to potential employers in the hospitality sector.

“When you’re in the business of helping people, that starts with investing in your own,” said AHLEF President Rosanna Maietta. “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.”

AHLA also has committed to enrolling 50,000 apprentices over the next five years in new and existing programs, present industry certifications to 125,000 job seekers and current employees and award more than $5 million in scholarships.

“We are excited to partner with AHLA to launch this program in Orlando,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Hotels and the larger hospitality industry are the foundation of our strong, and increasingly diverse, central Florida economy. Hotels are a vital part of our economy because they offer an unmatched pathway for opportunity for our residents, whether as an escalator to the middle class or as a vehicle to learn vital skills or to earn money for higher education or other pursuits. We appreciate the hotel industry’s commitment to creating quality jobs in our city, investing in our workforce and helping our neighborhoods grow and thrive.”

In July, AHLA joined several other associations in signing President Trump’s Pledge to the American Worker that will provide enhanced apprenticeship and work-based learning programs. The pledge was the first act of Trump’s National Council for the American Worker. The council is made up of administration officials with the purpose of developing a national strategy for training workers in high-demand industries based on input from public, private, education, labor, and not-for-profit organizations.