AHLEF Puts Career Development in Focus

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AHLEF) has added two new personnel who will focus primarily on career development for the hospitality industry. In addition, they will oversee the new partnership between AHLA and the National Restaurant Association (NRA), which will enhance hospitality training, certification capabilities and educational products.

As SVP of career development, Shelly Weir will oversee the strategic vision of workforce development. She will support the AHLA and foundation agenda through career development to help strengthen the lodging industry workforce, and will lead efforts to engage with community, non-profit and governmental organizations through grants and contract management programs.

In addition, Weir will be spearheading efforts to expand apprenticeship opportunities in the hospitality industry through the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. AHLA, in partnership with NRA’s Foundation (NRAEF) and Jobs for the Future, received a $1.8-million award in which the three organizations are working with restaurant operators and hotel and lodging employers nationwide to recruit and place individuals in paid apprenticeships focused on management-level positions. Weir will lead AHLA’s efforts to ensure new apprenticeship training regimens are created as well as working to build on existing programs already in place.

AHLEF Coordinator Kelly Vazquez will assist the foundation team with workforce development efforts, government grants, scholarship efforts and other programs. Weir and Vazquez come to the foundation from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), formerly AHLA’s sister organization, which recently transitioned to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), effective Feb. 1.

“As a business of people serving people, the hotel industry thrives because our people are at the core of the industry,” said Joori Jeon, president of AHLEF. “We are excited to welcome two new talented members to the Educational Foundation team who will focus on ensuring our current employees and future talent have the training, skills and resources necessary to earn promotions and climb the ladder from entry level to management, upper management, senior executives and on to the C-Suite.”