DALLAS, TX (April 30, 2019) – Today, Dallas Mayor Michael S. Rawlings joined the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), the AHLA Foundation, the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association (THLA), and the Hotel Association of North Texas (HANTX) to announce two local grants totaling $75,000. Both the grant to CitySquare, a Dallas community-based organization, and the grant to Richardson High School will assist in recruiting and training individuals to join the growing and dynamic hotel industry.

In Dallas, more than 104,000 young adults are looking for employment. Yet, the Dallas hotel industry has more than 3,500 job openings annually. Grant funds will connect youth to employers in the hospitality industry and provide training to help them succeed.

As a result of the AHLA Foundation grant, CitySquare will be able to expand its WorkPaths program which provides intensive pre-employment training programs designed to increase functional skill levels to prepare students for careers in the hospitality industry. Additionally, Richardson High School will be able to expand its Hotel Internship Program, which provides skills development, job training, technological tools, resources, and mentoring for students both during school and after graduation.

“As an industry that employs more than eight million jobs across the country, our workforce is at the heart of what we do and our greatest resource. Currently, our industry is experiencing an acute labor shortage with hundreds of thousands of jobs open nationwide. This grant is an important step forward in our continued commitment to investing in our workforce and empowering the future generation of hospitality leaders,” said AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers. “We are grateful for Mayor Rawlings’ partnership in closing the jobs gap and providing youth with the opportunity to build long, prosperous careers in the hotel industry.”

The event, in partnership with Grads of Life, is part of AHLA Foundation’s Empowering Youth Project and AHLA's industry Hospitality is Working campaign, a national initiative to drive the hotel industry’s commitment in the areas of career advancement opportunities, community commitment and workforce and guest safety issues.

“Dallas is quickly becoming one of the nation’s fastest growing cities, with more than 27 million people visiting each year. As a result, our hotel and lodging industry is thriving and with that comes the need for a trained workforce to fill open jobs,” said Mayor Michael S. Rawlings. “I am proud to partner with AHLA, AHLA Foundation, THLA and other hoteliers committed to investing in the lives of Dallas residents by providing the tools and resources needed to succeed.”

“Ensuring hotels have the resources to recruit, retain, and empower our next generation of hospitality leaders is critical to the success of our growing and dynamic industry,” said AHLA Foundation President Rosanna Maietta. “Today we are proud to build on AHLA Foundation’s strong legacy and commitment to workforce development through grants that will support youth across the country to help them join our dynamic workforce.”

“The vibrant hotel industry in Texas supports more than 632,000 employees and only continues to grow. This important grant will train and support the Dallas Metroplex workforce, providing youth with the incredible opportunities our industry has to offer,” said Texas Hotel and Lodging Association President & CEO Scott Joslove. “By partnering with community-based organizations such as CitySquare and local educational institutions such as Richardson High School, we will continue to provide critical training resources to close the jobs gap and create meaningful careers for local individuals.”



About THLA

The Texas Hotel & Lodging Association (THLA) is a nonprofit trade association representing every aspect of the lodging and tourism industry in Texas. THLA’s membership includes lodging operators and tourism partners across Texas, from the largest hotels to the smallest bed and breakfasts, along with full-service and limited-service operators, convention and visitor bureaus, chambers of commerce and vendors who work with the hospitality industry. Over the last ten years, THLA has grown from the fourth largest state hotel association in the country to the largest hotel association in the nation with over 3,700 members currently. THLA’s mission is to advocate for legislation, regulations, resources, and a business climate that will promote a strong, vibrant, and growing lodging and tourism industry within Texas.

About Grads of Life

Grads of Life is a national initiative that catalyzes market demand for Opportunity Youth (ages 16-24) by transforming employer perceptions and hiring practices. Grads of Life places an innovative focus on the demand side of the talent marketplace, harnessing the power of the private sector to create pathways to employment for Opportunity Youth nationwide. ###