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Hospitality Industry Workforce Development 

Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) can play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the hospitality sector in their area.  


It starts by recognizing hospitality as a key economic driver in cities, towns, and rural areas across the United States.  


Collaborative multi-sector efforts create results!


Working with partners like state restaurant associations, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) collaborators can work with community based organizations and local leaders to create roadmaps towards success. 


Working together, models can be implemented that create effective employment pipelines for restaurants and hotels while creating vibrant careers for members of the community.



Identifying Industry Needs

WDCs can start by understanding the specific needs of the local restaurant and hotel industry. This involves assessing the types of skills that are in high demand and the gaps in the current labor market. They can do this by conducting surveys, organizing industry roundtables, and analyzing employment trends.

State Restaurant Associations should be a first stop for collaboration!

Collaboration with NRA and NRAEF

NRA and NRAEF are rich resources of industry knowledge and expertise. WDCs can partner with these organizations to gain insights into national trends, best practices, and effective training programs. This collaboration can ensure that the workforce development initiatives are aligned with industry standards and needs.

Developing Tailored Training Programs

Based on the insights gained, WDCs can develop or facilitate targeted training programs. These programs should focus on both hard skills, like culinary techniques and hotel management software, and soft skills, like customer service and communication. Involving local restaurants and hotels in curriculum development ensures relevance and practicality.

Creating Apprenticeship and Internship Opportunities

In partnership with the NRAEF, WDCs can help set up apprenticeship and internship programs. These programs provide hands-on experience, making candidates more employable and ready for the industry. They can be a pathway for individuals to enter the industry and for businesses to assess potential employees.

Promoting Career Pathways in Hospitality

By working with the NRA and NRAEF, WDCs can help promote hospitality as a viable and rewarding career path. This involves organizing career fairs, workshops, and speaking engagements in schools and community centers to raise awareness about the opportunities in the restaurant and hotel sector.

Supporting Job Placement and Retention

Post-training, WDCs can assist with job placement by connecting trained individuals with local businesses. They can also provide ongoing support and resources to ensure job retention and career progression.

Evaluating and Adapting Strategies

Continuous evaluation of the effectiveness of these programs is crucial. WDCs should collect data on employment outcomes, gather feedback from participants and employers, and adapt strategies accordingly to improve and evolve the employment pipeline.

By collaborating with the NRA and NRAEF, Workforce Development Councils can create a more skilled, employable, and responsive workforce for the restaurant and hotel industry.


This not only benefits individuals seeking employment but also supports the growth and sustainability of the hospitality sector in your region. 

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