Lodging Professionals Tap Student Interest in Industry on February 2

  • AH&LA
  • 01.22.09
On February 2, 2009, hoteliers across the country will introduce high school students to more than 200 diverse industry job opportunities via National Groundhog Job Shadow Day.

Sponsored within the lodging community by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), this national program allows students to shadow hospitality professionals’ daily work experiences, familiarizing themselves with the wide array of job opportunities within the industry.  

A typical Groundhog Job Shadow Day entails hosting between five and 20 high school students at a hotel property or corporate headquarters for a back-of-the-house tour, providing a hands-on view of guest service, food and beverage, housekeeping, accounting, marketing and other operations. Each student follows a staff mentor, including hotel owners, CEOs, general managers, security directors, executive chefs, concierge staff and event planners, through a typical work day.  Students participate in daily functions, gaining hands-on exposure to the wide array of professions in the lodging industry, and receive a certificate upon completion.

As the nation’s third-largest industry employing approximately 1.4 million hotel property workers, AH&LA recognizes the need to educate tomorrow’s growing workforce, which will require more than 700,000 additional workers by 2010.  AH&LA, partner state associations and member properties from Arizona to Tennessee – and various locations in between – have already committed participation, and are listed on the AH&LA Web site.  AH&LA’s Washington D.C. staff will also participate and host approximately 20 students in their office and at a nearby downtown hotel.

“This annual event is one of the most rewarding days of the year for our own staff, as I know it is for all the students who shadow us and get an inside look into the many career opportunities that await them in the lodging industry,” said AH&LA President/CEO Joseph A. McInerney, CHA. “We’re proud to facilitate this program that reinvigorates students’ enthusiasm in hospitality, especially in today’s economy when they may have a negative outlook on their futures.”

National Groundhog Job Shadow Day is a coordinated effort of America’s Promise, Junior Achievement, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor.  In addition to lodging industry participation, approximately 100,000 other businesses and organizations also host students via this career development initiative.

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