WASHINGTON—The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation (AHLA Foundation) received top honors at the White House for their collective work to support and empower hotel industry employees. AHLA and AHLA Foundation were among a small group of companies and organizations awarded the Pledge to America’s Workers Presidential Award in recognition of outstanding comprehensive workforce development efforts to create new and enhanced education and training opportunities for current and future hotel employees.
“On behalf of President Trump, I am honored to award the inaugural Pledge to America’s Worker Presidential Award to the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) and eight other outstanding organizations,” said Ivanka Trump, advisor to the President. “The American Hotel and Lodging Association has demonstrated a meaningful and substantive commitment toward re-skilling and investing in the futures of their workers, more urgent now than ever before due to the changes brought on by the pandemic. Prioritizing American workers and ensuring they are well prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow will guarantee the continued exceptionalism of our country’s workforce for decades to come. Congratulations, AHLA!”
Since signing the initial pledge in 2018, AHLA and its Foundation have developed, educated and certified more than 105,000 hotel employees, already fulfilling 80% of AHLA’s original commitment to support 130,000 hotel employees over five years. Additionally, nearly $6 million has been invested to support career development programs, degree courses, industry certifications and apprenticeships to support the hotel and lodging industry.
“We are honored to receive the Pledge to America’s Workers Presidential Award during a time when supporting our workforce has never been more critical,” said Chip Rogers, president/CEO, AHLA. “Our industry is doing all we can to survive and, yet, we are resilient and committed to advancing our workforce by expanding the work of the AHLA Foundation, our career development programs and scholarship grants to help our employees get one step ahead once travel resumes. As an industry that employed 8.3 million people before the pandemic, we urge the administration and Congress to come together immediately to pass additional support so that we can bring back the nearly four million hotel workers whose jobs remain in jeopardy.”
The impact of workforce development offerings from AHLA and its Foundation both pre- and post-COVID have been substantial. With nearly nine in 10 hotels having to lay off or furlough workers this year, the AHLA Foundation pivoted in recent months to offer current and furloughed employees the opportunity to learn new skills through training and credentialing programs to prepare for a return to the workforce or their next career position in the industry.
“Even at a time when the industry is struggling for its very survival, we are all coming together to support our greatest resource—our employees,” said Rosanna Maietta, president, AHLA Foundation. “This is still one of the few industries where achieving the American Dream is possible, even today. That’s why some 20,000 individuals signed up to take advantage of free skills-based training and educational courses we offered this spring and summer to help keep them connected to the industry. We appreciate today’s recognition and look forward to working with the White House and other partners to help more individuals create lifelong careers in this great industry.”