Hospitality Training Academy Awarded $3 Million Federal Grant to Help Workers Impacted by COVID-19

Hospitality Training Academy Awarded $3 Million Federal Grant to Help Workers Impacted by COVID-19

Los Angeles (November 12, 2021): The Hospitality Training Academy (HTA) and its allies revealed the details of the $3 million Federal Grant to help workers impacted by COVID-19. The CAREER National Dislocated Worker Grant will provide underserved workers with high-road employment and career pathways by participation in registered union apprenticeships and training programs in the hospitality, construction, and retail food industries.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has left far too many people out of work, struggling through no fault of their own to support themselves and their families – so beyond job training, this grant is an investment in creating more stable, supportive workplaces and families, in lifting families out of poverty, and in providing historically marginalized and underserved communities with tangible opportunities. It’s about Building Back Better – and this is just the beginning,” said Congressman Schiff, U.S. House of Representatives, 28th Congressional District. “I am excited to hear the Hospitality Training Academy’s stories of success and of the people they help succeed.”

The occasion was celebrated at HTA’s Culinary Training Kitchen in Los Angeles with elected officials U.S Congressmember Schiff, State Senator Durazo, County officials, and Representatives from HTA, UNITE HERE Local 11, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, United Food and Commercial Workers, LA/OC Building & Construction Trades Council, and Apprenticeship Readiness Fund.

“I am excited about the $3 million grant to the Hospitality Training Academy. A workforce development grant to train men and women in the hospitality industry is the kind of initiative we need more of across California and throughout the country. We know that the hospitality industry is one of the hardest hit during the pandemic and that low-paid workers are the most severely impacted. This federal grant will ensure that HTA has the resources it needs to continue to create good jobs with upward mobility in the hospitality, food service, and tourism industries and help get workers back on their feet! The grant will also help businesses recruit and train highly qualified individuals, which is highly needed,” said California State Senator Maria Elena Durazo 24th District.

The event highlighted how programs like CAREER Grant are the key to ensuring that those hardest hit by the pandemic can recover through training and placement in good union jobs. In addition to claiming the lives of our fellow Angelenos, the COVID-19 crisis has pushed so many of them to the brink of poverty. Projects like the CAREER Grant are essential to our economic recovery and to lifting so many of our essential workers out of poverty and into stable work environments.

“We are proud of the work we have done with our employer and government partners at the city, county, state and federal level to put people back to work in good union jobs and safe environments” said Susan Minato Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11 and Chair of Board of Trustees for Hospitality Training Academy.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, HTA and UNITE HERE Local 11 have served more than 4.5 million meals to Los Angeles County’s most vulnerable community members through the “Serving Our Community” program. The meals were cooked by partner employers like JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton LA LIVE, Pomona College, and The Beverly Hilton – among others – and then delivered by taxi cabs and airport shuttles. Created to address the urgent needs of low-income Angelenos, the program employed 1,364 previously laid-off and experienced professionals ensuring continuity of service at keystone employers that are a fiscal engine in our region; and providing meals to at-risk populations.

“The Hospitality Training Academy and UNITE HERE Local 11 changed my life and provided me with skills needed to walk into a job and feel prepared. I am proud to have taken part in the Serving Our Community Program providing meals to those who needed it most. Thanks to my union, I was able to maintain my healthcare for my kids while working at the Sheraton Grand serving meals as part of this program.” said Fretecia Johnson member of UNITE HERE Local 11 and Hospitality Training Academy alumni.

B-Roll link to event footage and cooking and preparing meals here. 



CAREER Grant (Comprehensive and Accessible Reemployment through Equitable Employment Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grant) comes through the U.S. Department of Labor at a critical time. This multi-industry project will provide job training to two-hundred unemployed workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare them for placement in high-wage, stable union jobs with benefits.

The Hospitality Training Academy (HTA) provides a variety of workforce development, apprenticeship, ESL, and training programs to train low-income, marginalized individuals for jobs in the hospitality and foodservice industry.

UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union representing over 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona who work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers, and airports.