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Opinion: Hotels Proudly Support Career Pathways

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By Katherine Lugar, President/CEO American Hotel & Lodging Association; Lynn Mohrfeld, President/CEO, California Hotel & Lodging Association, and Kevin Carroll, Executive Director,Hotel Council of San Francisco

The hotel industry is growing both nationally and in California, and with it, the need for qualified employees at all levels. This need provides an opportunity to invest in the next generation’s workforce through proactive partnerships with organizations dedicated to job training and placement, along with solid commitments on the part of employers.

That’s why the hotel industry is proud to support the Bay Area Young Men of Color Employment Partnership (BAYEP) Career Pathway Summit. Taking place at the Oakland Marriott City Center this week, this unique event will help match over 1,000 job-seekers with more than 20 top employers who will be hiring on the spot, as well as providing on-site career resources and interactive workshops to assist young people looking for a job. The Career Pathway Summit is sponsored by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the industry’s Foundation (AHLEF), California Hotel & Lodging Association, and the Hotel Council of San Francisco – because we recognize that building pathways for America’s young men of color is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also the essence of our industry.

Believing in the upward mobility and potential of all our workers is at the heart of hotel employers. Nearly half of our industry’s general managers started their careers in entry-level positions, such as dishwashers, bellmen, or front-desk agents. And now, after adding jobs at a rate nine percent faster than the rest of the economy, the hospitality industry is expected to create another 2.1 million to 3.3 million jobs over the next three years. This robust growth can broaden the career horizons of countless young, seasonal employees for whom a position in hospitality can offer meaningful job experience with a competitive income and grow into something much more, a long-term career.

Our industry’s success – like the success of so many other employers – depends on supporting its workforce. In a business of people taking care of people, hotels could not be successful without the eight million men and women who lend their talents and hard work to jobs tied to travel and tourism. Ensuring that hotels can recruit and cultivate young people for today’s workforce and the future generation of leaders fuels our industry’s proud tradition of supporting the career aspirations of workers at every level.

So, we are committed to working with BAYEP and other community-based organizations to turn that tradition into an answer to the social and economic challenges facing young men of color throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s well established that, in California, unemployment among young Black men (37%) and young Latino men (25%) significantly outpaces joblessness among other groups. But even in the Bay Area, one of the most ethnically diverse regions of the United States, the troubling reality is that one of every nine young men of color is unemployed.

That is why hotels are so firmly committed to the BAYEP Career Pathway Summit, a free hiring event open to the entire San Francisco Bay Area community. By building bridges between young men of color and employment opportunities, we hope to close the employment gap. But those bridges must be supported by long-term resources. So, in addition to facilitating new hiring, the event will launch a 12- to 18-month commitment to the long-term success of all the participating employers and their new hires. This commitment includes providing managerial training and a customized retention strategy for career summit hires, as well as ongoing professional development to help new hires advance with employer partners.

Together, we can cultivate and support new career pathways for the Bay Area’s young men of color. It is the right thing to do for those struggling to find employment, and a vital bridge we must build for the hotel industry to continue growing and providing hospitality and job opportunities in the future.

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Community

Oakland Native Serves in Navy’s ‘Silent Service’ of Submarine Technology

A major component of that maritime security is homeported at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., where Zeigler is stationed.

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Justin Ziegler

An Oakland native is serving aboard USS Florida, one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines.

Fireman Justin Zeigler, a 2008 Life Academy High School graduate and 2017 University of California, Los Angeles graduate, joined the Navy one year ago.

“I joined the Navy to be a part of something new and completely outside of what I had been exposed to,” said Zeigler. “I really wanted to challenge myself. and I feel the core values of the Navy represent what I strive for.”

Today, Zeigler serves as a machinist’s mate whose responsibilities include working on nuclear propulsion machinery.
According to Zeigler, the values required to succeed in the military are similar to those found in Oakland.

“I learned resilience from my hometown,” said Zeigler. “I think that’s been a part of my life and childhood. It’s what’s keeping me going while serving in the Navy.”

Known as America’s “Silent Service,” the Navy’s submarine force operates a large fleet of technically advanced vessels. These submarines are capable of conducting rapid defensive and offensive operations around the world, in furtherance of U.S. national security.

There are three basic types of submarines: fast-attack submarines (SSN), ballistic-missile submarines (SSBN) and guided-missile submarines (SSGN).

As a member of the submarine force, Zeigler is part of a rich 121-year history of the U.S. Navy’s most versatile weapons platform, capable of taking the fight to the enemy in the defense of America and its allies.
Serving in the Navy means Zeigler is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The submarine force is always out there ready to strike,” said Zeigler.

With more than 90% of all trade traveling by sea, and 95% of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through underwater fiber optic, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

A major component of that maritime security is homeported at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., where Zeigler is stationed.

As Zeigler and other sailors continue to train and perform the missions they are tasked with, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means being a part of something more than myself,” added Zeigler. “I’m committing to my team, always striving to be better and bringing more to the table.”

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Community

East Bay Area Section of NCNW: 70th Anniversary

Knowledge is Power

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East Bay Area Section of NCNW: 70th Anniversary Flyer

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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Events

Ella Baker Center Turns 25

Community members will have the opportunity to join the celebration virtually or in person at Restore Oakland at 1419 34th Ave, Oakland, CA 94601.

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Michelle Alexander/Photo via pbs.org

Alicia Garza

Co-founder of Black Lives Matter (BLM) Alicia Garza and Michelle Alexander, acclaimed author of “The New Jim Crow,” will join youth justice leader Xochtil Larios to discuss a collective vision for liberation at the Ella Baker Center’s 25th Anniversary Celebration, 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 27.

After 25 years of working to empower Black and Brown communities and fighting for a world without prisons and policing, the event will seek to inspire organizers, community members and changemakers to reflect on past victories in the movement for social justice and imagine how to continue moving toward a world based on justice.

The event will include entertainment by musicians, poets as well as comments by founders of the Ella Baker Center, Dianna Frappier and Van Jones. Community members will have the opportunity to join the celebration virtually or in person at Restore Oakland at 1419 34th Ave, Oakland, CA 94601.

The in-person event will be held outdoors and available to vaccinated guests only. 

To RSVP for the virtual event, please email ashley@ellabakercenter.org by Oct. 14 

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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