The Hospitality Training Academy

The Hospitality Training Academy (HTA) provides a variety of workforce development, apprenticeship and training programs to train low income, marginalized individuals for jobs in the hospitality industry. The HTA provides top-quality, up-skill vocational training to current union employees as well as a variety of workforce development, apprenticeship, vocational ESL and training programs to clients seeking employment in the hospitality and food service industry.


Susan Minato, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11 and Chair of the Hospitality Training Academy Board of Trustees

“The Serving our Community Program shows what we can accomplish together – when labor, employers, their labor-management partnership training arm, and elected officials come together to innovatively and safely provide vital resources to our community.”

Julie Su, Serving our Community

Julie Su, Secretary, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency

“The incredible efforts of UNITE HERE Local 11, its members, the Hospitality Training Academy, the Los Angeles Convention Center and the hotels demonstrate what we mean when we say California is the leader in innovation. This project not only served 3 million meals so people could stay home and stay fed during COVID, it also kept over 1000 working people in good jobs. The state of California is proud to be a partner.”


Three Million Meals Prepared by “Serving Our Community” Free Meal Program

UNITE HERE Local 11 and Hospitality Training Academy Provide 1,100 Jobs

LOS ANGELES (March 3, 2021) — UNITE HERE Local 11 and Hospitality Training Academy’s “Serving Our Community” program prepared and delivered its three-millionth meal today. The milestone was celebrated at the LA Convention Center with City, County and State officials and representatives from UNITE HERE Local 11, Levy Restaurants, LA Convention Center, participating hotels, and the taxi and airport shuttle industry.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the program has employed 1,100 union and non-union workers in the hospitality, food service and taxi industries who were laid off due to the pandemic. With funding primarily from the City of Los Angeles and County of Los Angeles, the three million meals have served 10,000 homebound seniors, people experiencing homelessness and low-income families.

These meals are cooked in the industrial kitchens at Levy Restaurants at the Los Angeles Convention Center, JW Marriott LA LIVE, The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort, Pomona College, Sheraton Grand LA and The Beverly Hilton, and then delivered by taxi cabs and airport shuttles.

Eric Garcetti, Mayor of the City of Los Angeles

“COVID-19 has posed unprecedented and unpredictable challenges across our communities, but it’s also shown us the true meaning of the Angeleno spirit — a collection of compassionate, generous, determined individuals ready to step up and support our seniors and our neighbors in need. Progress is made through partnerships, and the City is proud to work hand-in-hand with UNITE HERE, the Hospitality Training Academy, and the Serving Our Community program to create jobs for our hospitality workforce and deliver high-quality meals to our hardest-hit residents throughout this pandemic.” 

Serving Our Community Video



Serving Our Community delivers safe, healthy, high-quality meals to Southern Californians affected by the COVID-19 crisis; helps reinvigorate one of our region’s largest industries – hospitality/leisure/tourism/ food service; and ensures that thousands of workers are back doing what they love, while earning a living wage and full family health care benefits critical in this public health crisis.

Experienced food service workers at leading Southern California hospitality employers can create meals for any budget, scale, and dietary preference. The HTA is ready to train the workers for the highest level of safety and sanitation so they can prepare and distribute healthy, high-quality meals to those affected by the pandemic.

Procuring relief meals through the Serving Our Community program ensures that meals are safely prepared by experienced professionals in large industrial kitchens that allow for compliance with CDC and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidelines regarding physical distancing, disinfection, and cleanliness. At the same time, the program helps reinvigorate one of our region’s largest industries.