American Hotel & Lodging Association Foundation (AHLA) just received a $1 million grant from Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

This two-year grant has been given with the purpose of attracting youth to hospitality. According to a press release, it will “[allow] the AHLA Foundation to expand its Empowering Youth development programming to Los Angeles and New Orleans, propelling young talent into hotel careers.” The foundation also says it will collaborate with organizations to engage those between ages 16-24 who are “out of school, unemployed, and looking for a path forward in an industry that offers more than 200 career pathways.”

In October, employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 164,000 and has risen by 2.4 million over 2021; but it remains down by 8.2 percent—1.4 million people—since February 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition to reemploying those affected by the pandemic, there has been an increased focus on diversity, equity and inclusion by the events industry, and AHLA Foundation will be devoting $5 million to that cause, as well.

“We are thrilled to work hand-in-hand with AHLA Foundation as we discover new talent, sharpen their skillsets and track their success throughout their careers,” says Elizabeth Cheung, senior program officer of opportunity youth at Hilton Foundation. “The Empowering Youth Program is playing a significant role in building the next generation of the hospitality industry, and we’re excited to play a role in that.”

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