Washington Hospitality Association Education Foundation: A conduit for success in the hospitality industry

Washington Hospitality Association Education Foundation: A conduit for success in the hospitality industry https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/HOSPITALITY-Opportunity.jpg

By Alina Day


A: Alina Day, Education Foundation marketing coordinator

S: Sandra Miller, senior workforce development manager

D: David Faro, director of Education Foundation


A: What is the Washington Hospitality Association Education Foundation’s mission?

D: Our goal is to provide wins for the hospitality industry by helping our workforce succeed.

A: How is the Education Foundation different from the Washington Hospitality Association?

S: The Education Foundation is a standalone 501c3, and although it is a separate entity from the greater association, it is an integral part of the association’s work in the state. This is an important distinction for members to know. Why? Because we need members deeply engaged and supporting the efforts of the foundation. Our foundation sits at the helm of workforce development for our industry. The responsibility to provide a trained and qualified workforce today and for years to come is one the foundation takes seriously. How we support that mission is multifaceted. We seek grant funding to provide career pathways and trainings for our industry. We connect the industry with a multitude of training programs, helping you skill up your staff from entry-level to career hospitality professionals. The foundation also asks for direct donations and contributions to our scholarship programs.

A: Why does the Education Foundation exist?

D: The Education Foundation exists as a conduit for success in the hospitality industry. The best word to describe our work is as an intermediary. We provide industry connection to educational organizations, public organizations, job seekers and employers. The current labor shortage is a great example of why we exist. In this current case, we connect networks of training opportunities across all positions and we sit on advisory boards, helping to streamline communication between hospitality stakeholders. We attend school board meetings to ensure career and technical education strategies include hospitality pathways to success. The foundation exists because we fundamentally believe that anyone who wants to succeed in hospitality can, and we are here to help facilitate that success in any and all ways we can.

A: How does the Education Foundation make a difference?

D: The easiest way to share how the Education Foundation makes a difference is to focus on the magic moment when employers connect with a job seeker and seal the deal. There is an intrinsic power in securing employment. It is literally life changing, and our foundation sees that every day. It is extremely rewarding to be a part of a large network of public, private and nonprofit partners who are trying to connect their fellow citizens with employment. Our work makes a critical difference in the hospitality industry every day, but it also makes a substantial difference in individuals lives as well. As a result, we lift the whole industry when we connect business owners with a well-trained workforce that is excited to start careers in hospitality!

A: How is the Education Foundation important to members?

D: Hospitality operations do not always have the knowledge of best practices, compliance and career growth opportunities. The last member survey indicated that workforce development and labor shortages were one of the most pressing issues our members face. The Education Foundation is important to members because we can be included in an operation’s business model. We can be considered a training and workforce development coordination division of an operation’s infrastructure or career development counselors. We can also be worked into compliance strategies, recruiting strategies, HR development, and used as a research tool for career pathways and opportunities. The Education Foundation is important to each member we serve in a unique way, and we tailor our approaches to each member’s needs. “How can we help you succeed?” is always our first question.

A: How can members impact the Education Foundation?

D: Members can impact the Education Foundation by using the training products we offer, using our consulting services, supporting the efforts of the foundation through sponsorships, and by contacting the foundation whenever you need information or a workforce development solution. After that, we just need operations to allow us to be a part of the team as they implement the plan.

A: How can you help the Education Foundation succeed?

S: ENGAGE! Reach out to David Faro, Education Foundation director, at davidf@wahospitality.org and start asking questions. The foundation needs YOU on its team of influencers and industry connectors.

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