Washington DispatchAHLAHotel Industry Commits To Apprenticeship Program

Hotel Industry Commits To Apprenticeship Program

Washington, D.C.–As part of President Trump’s workforce development week, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) President and CEO, Katherine Lugar, joined the President, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, and dozens of industry leaders as the President signed an Executive Order designed to reduce the regulatory burden on apprenticeship programs and increase the prominence and availability of apprenticeship programs in non-traditional industries such as hospitality.

AHLA has committed to participating in a cornerstone apprenticeship project to ensure the education marketplace is further connected to the needs of the lodging industry. In partnership with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and Jobs for the Future (JFF), AHLA received a $1.8 million award from the Department of Labor to create and implement career opportunities through registered apprenticeship. The result is an industry-created, competency-based, apprenticeship program that offers a direct path to upper management and credential attainment.

This commitment includes leading, global companies who are committed to participating in this foundational program, including Hilton, Hyatt, Wyndham,  B.F. Saul Company, and Stonebridge Companies, among others. The life of the contract includes a commitment from the partners to enroll a minimum of 2,250 apprentices over the next five years.

“Investing in its employees is central to who we are as an industry as they are our greatest assets. For over 60 years, AHLA has helped advance the lodging industry workforce through its portfolio of industry-recognized certifications that prepare employees for job success,” said Katherine Lugar, President and CEO of AHLA. “Recruiting, training, and retaining employees has never been more important given the growth of our industry and an increasingly competitive labor market. Embracing apprenticeship initiatives aligns firmly with our industry’s long-term vision to better attract and secure individuals and help them achieve the American Dream.”

With more than 50 percent of hotel General Managers and many in the C-Suite starting their careers in entry-level positions, the hotel industry has a tradition of grooming talent and growing careers, supporting some 8 million jobs across the United States and paying $74 billion in wages to employees.

AHLA has committed to enroll 225 apprentices by September. To date, AHLA already has more than 360 commitments from its membership. The apprenticeship program was designed with the goal of aligning certification with the fundamentals of apprenticeship, and was constructed using more than 100 competencies found in leading AHLA certifications. Apprentices in the DOL-approved AHLA program have the opportunity to earn while they learn, but also acquire two industry certifications and credit towards a college degree.



  1. Thirty years ago we said that apprentice ship is the only way to go to ensure high quality. No – cheap labor was more important ! And now you come back ? Thanks that we still have Entrepreneurs around ( just a few ) that understood what everybody else needed 30 years for !

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