“Upskilling Summit” highlighting best practices in Southern California programs
LOS ANGELES – On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the Hospitality Training Academy (HTA) will participate in a White House summit focused on the need to “upskill” America’s workforce. The summit will feature a diverse group of stakeholders, including members of both the business and labor communities, that are helping workers train to get ahead. HTA, UNITE HERE Local 11’s training fund, has been recognized for its best practices in working to upskill America’s frontline hospitality and food service workers.
“Upskilling”—the expansion of economic opportunity for America’s frontline, low-wage workers through skills training—enables workers to advance their careers, receive promotions, earn more for their family, and become larger contributors to their local economy.
In conjunction with attending the summit, the HTA has partnered with the soon-to-become Hyatt Regency Hotel LAX to upskill 150 members of its current workforce plus train 50 new employees, the first upskill hotel project in a long line of potential large-scale renovations being proposed in Los Angeles in the coming years.
After nine years in a LAX restaurant, Evelyn Foster faced unemployment when her concession was closed as the airport underwent a $4.11 billion modernization. She entered the Hospitality Training Academy where she and her co-workers were taught the skills they needed to raise the bar and win jobs and promotions at the airport’s new, higher-end concessions.
As airport concessions switch from fast food to fine dining, and hotels and stadiums remodel and upscale, the HTA ensures that union members, who are largely immigrants and/or people of color, are prepared to take the next step, securing higher wages and job security. With established training programs in several major cities, and new ones forming in cities like Washington DC, UNITE HERE local unions and participating employers are working to meet the needs of members, their families, and their communities.
The Hospitality Training Academy (HTA) a non-profit organization and a labor-management/Taft-Hartley Fund serving and providing training benefits to employers, the union and its members. The HTA is designed to improve Southern California’s hospitality, food service, and tourism industry sector by increasing the skill level of its workforce. Training is provided for both new hires entering the sector and current/incumbent workers seeking promotions through improved job skills and work experience.
UNITE HERE Local 11 represents more than 20,000 workers in hotels, restaurants, airports, sports arenas and convention centers in Southern California.