Media contact: Jillian Henze, senior communications manager, , 360-956-7279 ext. 124

Hospitality Month 2017 Communications Earn Award

(OLYMPIA, WASH., March 23, 2017) — A new partnership between the Employment Security Department, WorkSource and the Washington Hospitality Association in 2017 earned a Certificate of Excellence in the Marketing Communications category of the 2018 Public Relations Society of America Totem Awards on March 21.

The winning entry was for the Washington Careers in Hospitality Month communications campaign in May 2017.

About the campaign

With unemployment at record lows in Washington state, hospitality businesses are struggling to fill open positions. As of January 2017, 30 percent of the members of the Washington Hospitality Association said finding good talent was their top business concern.

[expander_maker id=”1″ more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]

In response to member needs, the hospitality association teamed up with the Employment Security Department and WorkSource in for help recruiting talent and creating greater awareness about potential career paths within the industry.

“Hospitality provides career opportunities at every level — lifelong careers as well as starting line jobs with core job skills that lead to success in other industries,” said Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association. “We provide leadership and ownership opportunities. And we take people from zero to $100,000 and beyond.”

The Washington Hospitality Association and the Employment Security Department developed a hospitality-specific website within that promotes careers in hospitality, available training and links to job openings.

The new site includes video testimonials of workers, direct links to specific hospitality job openings, a career ladder, links to training and links to labor market information that informs workers about the types of jobs available.

The campaign included Gov. Jay Inslee officially proclaiming May 2017 as Careers in Hospitality Month. A media event was held May 5 in support of the association’s Seattle-King County hospitality hiring event and it was livestreamed on Facebook.

Some of the greatest results of the campaign:
• 1,400 new visitors to the new Careers in Hospitality website in one month – May 2017
• 237 times the Hospitality Month press release was picked up by the media
• 136 percent growth in hospitality jobs posted on between April-October 2017

The Washington Hospitality Association continues to use the site to educate potential new hires and as a benefit for its members. It is collaborating again with the Employment Security Department in 2018 to promote the second Hospitality Month.

“The Employment Security Department is proud to work with the Washington Hospitality Association, Gov. Jay Inslee and our WorkSource partners to promote rewarding careers in hospitality,” said Janelle Guthrie, Employment Security Department communications director. “The hospitality industry provides amazing opportunities across our state. We look forward to taking our efforts to the next level this year and helping employers find even more great talent to serve their customers.”

About the awards

According to the Public Relations Society of America, “the Totem Award is a symbol of creativity and accomplishment for the PR industry in the Puget Sound area.”

The society’s Puget Sound chapter honors the best in regional public relations programs and is open to all PR and marketing professionals, society members and nonmembers alike.

Each entry is judged on its own merits, with Totem Awards and Certificates of Excellence being awarded in more than 20 categories and multiple sub-categories, according to the society’s website.


About the Washington Hospitality Association
The Washington Hospitality Association is a member-based organization that works at the state and local levels to find proactive solutions to the challenging issues facing the industry and its workforce. It provides its members with programs, services and the information they need to deliver great local experiences, ensure the success of their employees and help their communities thrive. The Washington Hospitality Association became one of the state’s largest trade associations in 2016 when the Washington Restaurant Association and Washington Lodging Association joined forces in a combined association.

About Washington’s Hospitality Industry
Hospitality is the industry that serves. It represents the largest group of private employers in the state, and the jobs the industry provides are the backbone of the state’s economy. Local restaurants and hotels employ more than 280,000 Washingtonians and each year, the hospitality industry generates more than $1.1 billion in state sales and Business & Occupation taxes. The hospitality industry is key to the health of our state, the careers of our citizens and the vitality of our communities.

About the Employment Security Department
The Employment Security Department is a partner in Washington’s WorkSource system, a collaboration of state, local and nonprofit agencies in Washington that deliver a wide array of employment and training services for job seekers and employers. Studies have shown that people who use WorkSource job-search services tend to find work faster and earn more money than those who don’t. WorkSource locations can be found on