AHLA gets funding to help young people join hotel workforce

by: Felicity Cousins | November 8, 2023

US: AHLA Foundation, the charitable arm of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), has received funding from Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to help young people join the hospitality workforce.

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was established in 1944 to help people living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage worldwide.

Grants are given to ensure healthy early childhood development and sustainable livelihoods for youth, support young people transitioning out of foster care, improve access to housing and support services, and for those experiencing homelessness.

The $605,000 grant will be used to support AHLA Foundation’s Empowering Youth Programme (EYP) which is looking to address the critical workforce shortage in the US hotel industry by promoting equitable hiring practices and training talent.

This year’s grant expands on the work of previous funding focused on hospitality training, work readiness skills, and industry exposure for Opportunity Youth (16-24 year olds not in education) in key markets. 

Elizabeth Cheung, senior programme officer, Opportunity Youth at Hilton Foundation said: “We’re glad to support AHLA’s Empowering Youth Programme. AHLA Foundation is a trusted industry intermediary, poised to lead this work and improve future hiring outcomes.” 

The AHLA Foundation will use the grant to focus on strengthening relationships and systems between community-based organisations and Opportunity Youth, during and after training, and the industry employers who seek to hire and retain them.

The project will start in Los Angeles, with hopes of broader application across the hotel and lodging industry.  

Anna Blue, president of AHLA Foundation said: “We’re eager to evolve this work and keep the momentum going to help young people find and build careers in the hotel industry.”

Last year the AHLA and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance announced a new strategic partnership to drive forward sustainability and ESG efforts in the hospitality sector.

In September the AHLA launched an initiative to support women in hospitality for leadership and ownership opportunities (see below).

AHLA Foundation launches initiative to support women in hospitality


Image: Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash