National Groundhog Job Shadow Day - February 3, 2014 

GroundhogThis February, the lodging industry once again participates in National Groundhog Job Shadow Day (NGJSD), a national campaign that gives young people a new perspective on their studies through hands-on learning and a one-day mentoring experience.  

Students are paired with a mentor who they will "shadow" throughout the day to experience how the skills they learn in the classroom can be applied to the real world. This event also provides an opportunity to introduce future employees to the vast array of careers available in the lodging industry, as well as supports our industry's community efforts. 

NGJSD is a joint effort of America's Promise - Alliance for Youth, Junior Achievement, and the U.S. Department of Labor. Nationwide, more than one million students and 100,000 businesses participate, and last year, more than 2,000 restaurants and hotels hosted nearly 20,000 students. 

Here’s some ideas for getting your hotel involved:

Have students shadow a general manager or executive staff member. Students get a chance to learn a great deal about the lodging industry by following and assisting an experienced hotel professional with their daily activities and duties. A shadow representative can teach them about the skills that are needed to succeed in the hospitality business. The students may assist with reservations, customer service, meeting and conventions, daily staff agenda, etc. 

Have students shadow an AH&LA partner state association executive. By letting them "shadow" directly in a lodging association environment, students will get a prime understanding of how individual lodging state associations handle their legislative, regulatory, and operating practices. The state executive can have the students attend state and in-office meetings, assist with daily duties, etc. 

Have students become a hotel employee for the day. Students work directly with customers and other hotel staff to become familiar with daily situations that will prepare them for future hotel job opportunities. It also teaches them the difference between non-managerial and managerial staff, and what it takes to climb the ladder of success in the lodging industry. Have the students work as non-managerial employees, such as front office clerks, bell captains, lobby porters, etc. 

Teach students behind-the-scene lodging opportunities. Allowing students to get a closer look at what happens beyond the hotel lobby will prepare a new generation of powerful hotel executives. Let students watch, and assist if possible, with paying bills, vendor purchasing, creating schedules, and other hidden logistics that go into running a hotel. 

AH&LA provides our members with sample materials easily customized for your participation, including sample press releases, memos to staff, and event certificates.  To view these materials and to find more information on hosting students, promoting the event, and other pertinent details, visit the Members Only section. 

For more information please contact Kathryn Potter at kpotter@ahla.com.