HOTEL INDUSTRY FOUNDATION LAUNCHES NEW NAME, VISION FOR 2020

Expands Empowering Youth Program to 10 Markets

Los Angeles, CA (January 26, 2020) – Today, the charitable-giving arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) announced a new name and a bold vision for the future of workforce development for the hotel industry.  The organization officially rebranded as: The American Hotel & Lodging Foundation (AHLA Foundation), in an announcement during the industry’s premier event, a Night of A Thousand Stars, where the industry joined together to elevate, empower and educate the employees of the hotel industry.  All proceeds from the Night of A Thousand Stars go towards the AHLA Foundation’s mission of helping people build careers, improve their lives and strengthen the lodging industry.  The event raised a record total of over $700,000 to support its mission. 

Since its founding in 1953, the Foundation has distributed over $27 million in support of the industry and is committed to ensuring a strong and viable workforce for the entire lodging industry.  In the last two years alone, the Foundation’s programs have changed 40,000 lives through innovative programs to recruit, retain and invest in employees, including scholarships, debt-free college and expanded apprenticeship programs.  

Greg Juceam, President & COO of G6 Hospitality, owner and franchisor of Motel 6, and AHLA Foundation Chair of the Board said, “From lifting individuals out of poverty and connecting them with a life-long career in the industry to providing certifications to promote current hotel employees into leadership positions, the Foundation’s programs create a ladder of opportunity to help employees achieve the American Dream. The Foundation can and should be a workforce solution for the entire industry, and I know that the Foundation’s new direction will be even more crucial as our industry continues to evolve.” 

Additionally, the AHLA Foundation announced a $750,000 commitment to expand its Empowering Youth Program from six cities to 10, bringing the Foundation’s total commitment to over $1.75 million. With this substantial investment also comes a commitment to train and certify 8,000 opportunity youth – individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 who are out of work and out of school but have the resiliency to succeed – by 2023. The Foundation piloted the Empowering Youth Program in 2018 in four cities – Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore – then expanded to Dallas and Orlando in 2019.  This year, the Foundation plans to roll out the program to four additional markets: San Francisco, Denver, Phoenix and Atlanta.  

“Each day, I’m humbled by our Foundation’s unique ability to transform lives. The inspirational stories of our beneficiaries are a testament to the countless opportunities our industry supports,” said Rosanna Maietta, President of AHLA Foundation & AHLA EVP. “As the Foundation continues to grow and scale the impact of our programs, we wanted to ensure that our partners understood the special relationship we have with AHLA, while at the same time build brand awareness that we are a Foundation that is funded entirely by generous companies and individuals who want to give back to the hotel industry and ensure its success.” 

The AHLA Foundation has bold goals. In the next five years, the Foundation will enroll 50,000 apprentices into new and existing apprenticeship programs, certify 125,000 job seekers and current employees with industry certifications, help 5,000 employees earn a college degree at no cost to them through the Foundation’s debt-free college program, award more than $5 million in scholarships for students enrolled in hospitality-related degree programs, and train and certify 8,000 opportunity youth ages 16 to 24 and connect them to potential employers in the hospitality sector in markets of high need. 

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About the AHLA Foundation: 
The AHLA Foundation, the charitable giving arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, is dedicated to helping people build careers, improve their lives and strengthen the lodging industry. From lifting individuals out of poverty and connecting them with a life-long career in the industry to providing certifications to promote current hotel employees into leadership positions, the Foundation's programs are changing the industry by changing lives. We are committed to elevating, educating, and empowering individuals and the public on the industry’s story of opportunity and advancement. Since its founding in 1953, the Foundation has distributed over $27 million in support of the industry and is committed to ensuring a strong and viable workforce for the entire lodging industry. The Foundation is funded solely by contributions from generous individuals and companies who want to give back to the hotel industry and ensure a successful future.  Learn more at www.AHLAFoundation.org.