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American Hotel and Lodging Foundation announces $5M, 5-year diversity commitment

Posted at 4:40 PM, Mar 18, 2021

Tevin Barnes is working to make a career in the hospitality industry.

Right now, he’s works in housekeeping at the Canopy Hilton in Baltimore, Maryland, but has aspirations to do much more.

“I want to be a GM one day. I want to run sales one day,” Barnes said. “I just don’t want to be an employee all the time.”

After the American Hotel and LodgingFoundation recently announced a $5 million, five-year commitment to achieve more diversity and inclusion throughout the hospitality industry, Barnes’ career goals might be much easier to obtain.

“We have always tried to have our workforce be as diverse as the guests we serve and that has become the aspirational goal for our campaign,” said Roseanna Maietta, president and CEO of the AHLA Foundation.

Currently, there are millions of hospitality workers across the United States and many of them are people of color working entry-level jobs. Maietta says this new diversity plan aims to help more people of color advance into management positions.

“The hotel industry welcomes guests from around the world no matter what they look like or what their background is,” she said. “So, it is incredibly important to have those same people working in the hotel industry welcoming those quests.”

The American Hotel and Lodging Foundation has thousands of members worldwide. By launching this series of programs and training sessions, Maietta says it will help educate and ultimately advance the careers of people like Barnes.

“I think this is a great steppingstone, especially for somebody like me at my young age,” said the 28-year-old.

While Barnes believes this new commitment to diversity can help him reach his career goals, he’s also hoping to help others.

“I want to take this up a notch,” he said. “Also see if there’s some way to do some mentoring. Get some guys of color, my age, off the streets.“