UNITE HERE Local 11's Hospitality Training Academy is actively seeking African American participants who are seeking jobs in hotels, event centers, and airports. CLUE is activating our clergy networks to help.
Union hospitality jobs are often well-compensated positions with opportunities for career advancement. But African American representation in hotels, event centers, and airports has steeply declined in the last twenty years. "I worked in the hospitality industry for 35 years, and I witnessed it personally," says recruiter Evangelist Denise Edwards.
Recruiter Bob Farrell, also a member of the Black Community Clergy Labor Alliance, says, "It is one of the major economic units in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, and for us not to be part of it is just a result of a range of historic and cultural factors beyond our individual control." Pastor Donald Wilson makes it clear that the purpose of the recruitment drive is "not to push the current workforce out, but that we be inclusive in this work again."
The Training Academy covers a wide range of job skills and even preparation for the interviewing process. Almost 40 people recently graduated from the Academy's first class and are now preparing for job interviews, according to HTA Director of Operations Maggie Mireles.
CLUE organizer Guillermo Torres invites the community not only to tell African American job seekers about the HTA, but also to join in advocacy at the city level. He describes an opportunity to demand that hotel developers commit to diverse community hiring before they even obtain their building permits from the city.
These interviews took place on April 4th, the day we remember the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. All participants voiced a strong connection to the history of Black worker justice.
Watch the interviews:
Pastor Donald Wilson, Diversity Organizer for UNITE HERE
Evangelist Denise Edwards
Bob Farrell of the BCCLA
Maggie Mireles, HTA Director of Operations