Career exploration program supporting hospitality careers

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Pipeline AZ is joining forces with the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association (AZLTA) to educate students about careers in the hospitality industry. The industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and has struggled to return to its pre-pandemic employment numbers, all while Arizona’s tourism numbers are up.

Mary Foote, CEO of Pipeline AZ, and Kim Sabow, President and CEO of Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association, joined Arizona Horizon to discuss the details and the importance of the program.

“During the pandemic, this industry was hit first and it was hit worse,” Sabow said. “We lost about 50% of our workforce, so it’s been an ongoing effort by the AZLTA to rebuild that workforce. The state of the industry is great, we just need the workforce to sustain the visitors.”

According to Foote, there are more than 150,000 users on the Pipeline AZ platform across all ages.

“What we want to do is show people current opportunities that are available right now in hospitality, but we’re also trying to educate the future workforce as well,” Foote said. “Helping them understand what a great industry it is, what a great profession it is and how they can start at an entry-level and work themselves all the way up hotel manager, they have lots of different options.”

The Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association is “focused on advocacy, collaboration, and education to generate support and increase awareness of the profound impact our leading industry has on Arizona jobs, tax revenues, and economic growth,” according to its website.

The hub was launched in September and Sabow said that the response has been fantastic.

“It’s the first of its kind,” Sabow said. “I really have to thank Mary and her leadership for coming together, AZLTA with Pipeline AZ. It’s been phenomenal. It’s been exactly what the industry needed, that sort of one-stop-shop for job creators and job seekers to come together and build the industry that is the lifeblood of this great state.”

Mary Foote, CEO of Pipeline AZ
Kim Sabow, President and CEO of Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association

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