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Wolf Administration Visits Philadelphia to Support Workforce Development Within Region’s Hotel and Restaurant Industries

06/02/2022

Philadelphia, PA – Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier today visited the Philadelphia OIC, a workforce development and job-training center with a decades-long history of preparing Philadelphians for advancement into family-sustaining careers.

The OIC is one of many partners in the Philadelphia Region Hospitality and Entertainment Industry Partnership to invest in the region's hotel and restaurant workforce – a project supported by the Wolf Administration's PAsmart initiative.

The partnership was recently awarded a $175,000 Industry Partnership grant from L&I and will use its grant funding for various activities related to workforce development, including training, recruiting, marketing, supportive services, and contracting. Statewide, the department awarded nearly $4.8 million to 26 industry partnerships with innovative plans to meet local and regional workforce needs.

"Pennsylvania employees and employers in every industry felt the pandemic's impact, but few industries experienced an upheaval as dramatic as that experienced by restaurants, hotels, venues and others within the hospitality and entertainment industries. The Wolf Administration is proud to support the Philadelphia Region Hospitality and Entertainment Industry Partnership in its endeavor to invest in workforce development so that businesses and workers alike can recover from the pandemic and thrive," Berrier said. "The future of Pennsylvania's economy will be largely determined by workers – the majority of us who depend on steady paychecks to sustain our families and plan for the future. Industry leaders who invest in their workers – particularly with educational opportunities that lead to better-paying jobs – will be rewarded many times over with the loyalty of a workforce that has more choices today than perhaps at any time in recent history."

The Philadelphia Region Hospitality and Entertainment Industry Partnership was established in September 2019 with a focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives to upskill and facilitate the upward mobility of historically marginalized populations in the southeast region. The COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the hotel and restaurant industries hard, affected but has not deterred that work.

As part of the recharge and recovery efforts, the partnership is working with The Peoples Hospitality School (PHS) at Drexel University to further build and strengthen the economy of the Greater Philadelphia region. PHS is creating a training program that will unite Drexel's faculty, external corporate partners, and industry experts under one program to support, train, upskill, and provide career pathways to those individuals seeking a career in the hospitality and food service sector. The school is set to launch in September.

"A thriving hospitality and entertainment industry is priority for Philadelphia's economic recovery," said H. Patrick Clancy, president and CEO at Philadelphia Works. "Philadelphia is fortunate that Secretary Berrier not only acknowledges its local importance, but also leads and advocates for its growth through action and smart investments." 

Strengthening job and skills training in Pennsylvania is a priority for the Wolf Administration. Several workforce development initiatives designed to meet local employer needs have been created, which include the Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center, launched in 2019. This strategic public-private partnership helps to identify and address barriers to work, the skills gaps, and worker shortages in Pennsylvania.

MEDIA CONTACT: Alex Peterson, dlipress@pa.gov

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