Gov. Jay Inslee highlights lifelong careers in Hospitality Month 2018

OLYMPIA, May 1, 2018 – Gov. Jay Inslee’s second annual Hospitality Month celebrates the state’s largest private employer and its career paths that take employees from first job to $100,000 and beyond.

“I’m proud to celebrate the many opportunities for career success the hospitality industry offers workers across our state,” Inslee said. “Hospitality jobs are key to Washington’s economy, paying more than $5.7 billion in wages, providing important training and serving as a vital path to prosperity for families in every part of our state.”

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Washington Hospitality Association members report finding and retaining employees is their No. 1 challenge.

To deliver a solution to the industry’s labor shortage, the association, the Employment Security Department and WorkSource are building partnerships and hosting hiring fairs throughout the state this month. These events kick off with a hiring event on May 3 at WSU Everett, May 22 in Yakima at the WorkSource office and May 24 at Ilwaco Timberline Library.

“We are successful when our employees are successful,” said Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association. “Hospitality Month, the hiring events and training resources are how we lift people up and provide a new generation a chance at the American Dream.”

The month-long celebration ends with a grand finale hiring event May 31 at Hotel Murano in Tacoma.

It’s not a typical job fair.

For this unique hiring event, the Washington Hospitality Association, the Employment Security Department and the Department of Social and Health Services Employment Pipeline have teamed up with other partners in the WorkSource system to offer more career resources and opportunities.

For Pierce County workers who want careers in hospitality, this is an opportunity to jump in with a critical safety net of support.

The Tacoma hiring event removes roadblocks to employment by providing resources for 12 months to prepare new hires to go to work immediately and stay engaged. Resources include transportation, certifications, permits, uniform needs, food assistance, bus passes, childcare assistance vouchers and more.

Restaurants and hotels benefit by connecting with hundreds of vetted, employable, ready-to-interview candidates.

Employers looking for workers and those looking to work in the industry can check out the new hospitality jobs website developed in 2017. It lets employers post jobs for free and provides hundreds of hospitality job postings – even manager positions.

The most important step to start a lifelong hospitality career is to get a foot in the door. Ann Farrell, the leadership consultant for Farrelli’s Wood Fire Pizza, said her restaurants hire for character and train for skills.

“Ninety-nine percent of our leadership was grown from within,” Farrell said. “Out of our 500 employees, 498 have been trained and upskilled into their positions.”

To participate in a hospitality hiring event, visit

To post or pursue a job in hospitality, visit


Media Contacts:

Employment Security Department, Janelle Guthrie, director of communications, 360-902-9289,
Washington Hospitality Association, Jillian Henze, senior communications manager, 360-956-7279 ext. 124,

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.

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.