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Washington, D.C. – June 15, 2017 – As part of President Trump’s workforce development week, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) President and CEO, Katherine Lugar, joined the President, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, and dozens of industry leaders today as the President signed an Executive Order designed to reduce the regulatory burden on apprenticeship programs and increase the prominence and availability of apprenticeship programs in non-traditional industries such as hospitality.

AHLA has committed to participating in a cornerstone apprenticeship project to ensure the education marketplace is further connected to the needs of the lodging industry. In partnership with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and Jobs for the Future (JFF), AHLA received a $1.8 million award from the Department of Labor to create and implement career opportunities through registered apprenticeship. The result is an industry-created, competency-based, apprenticeship program that offers a direct path to upper management and credential attainment. 

This commitment includes leading, global companies who are committed to participating in this foundational program, including Hilton, Hyatt and Wyndham and B.F. Saul Company and Stonebridge Companies among others. The life of the contract includes a commitment from the partners to enroll a minimum of 2,250 apprentices over the next five years.

“Investing in its employees is central to who we are as an industry as they are our greatest assets. For over 60 years, AHLA has helped advance the lodging industry workforce through its portfolio of industry-recognized certifications that prepare employees for job success,” said Katherine Lugar, President and CEO of AHLA. “Recruiting, training, and retaining employees has never been more important given the growth of our industry and an increasingly competitive labor market. Embracing apprenticeship initiatives aligns firmly with our industry’s long-term vision to better attract and secure individuals and help them achieve the American Dream.”

With more than 50 percent of hotel General Managers and many in the C-Suite starting their careers in entry-level positions, the hotel industry has a long tradition of grooming talent and growing careers, supporting some 8 million jobs across the United States and paying $74 billion in wages to employees.

AHLA has committed to enroll 225 apprentices by September. To date, AHLA already has more than 360 commitments from its membership. The apprenticeship program was designed with the goal of aligning certification with the fundamentals of apprenticeship, and was constructed using more than 100 competencies found in leading AHLA certifications. Apprentices in the DOL-approved AHLA program have the opportunity to earn while they learn, but also acquire two industry certifications and credit towards a college degree.  

About the American Hotel & Lodging Association

Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 8 million jobs the U.S. lodging industry supports, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, bed and breakfasts, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry that advances long-term career opportunities for employees, invests in local communities across the country and hosts more than one billion guests’ stays in American hotels every year. AHLA proudly represents a dynamic hotel industry of more than 54,000 properties that supports $1.1 trillion in U.S. sales and contributes nearly $170 billion to the U.S. economy. Learn more at

Contact: Katie Longo / 202-289-3148

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