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Hospitality industry keeps focus on new workforce initiatives

Tuesday, January 21, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kathleen Pierce
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MaineBiz covers HM's 2020 vision 

When Steve Hewins became executive director of newly formed HospitalityME a little over a year ago, the mission was clear — advocate for the state’s restaurant and lodging industry, grow the workforce and educate the public on what the industry does.

As 2020 begins, Hewins says inroads have been made, but those goals are still at the forefront, and leading them all is strengthening the workforce. “When I first came here, one of the first conversations I had was about the workforce and what we’re going to do about it,” he says. Since then, workforce challenges have “become a crisis,” but efforts to tackle them have risen to meet the challenge.

The state’s restaurant and lodging associations merged in 2018 to form HospitalityME, which represents more than 1,000 members in the industry. Hewins, in a recent interview with Mainebiz, says the merger brought a more dedicated focus, making it easier to create initiatives and to advocate at the State House for issues that involve both arms of the state’s hospitality industry. He says the most important aspect of the merger was to bring focus to the lodging and restaurant sectors, carving them out of the bigger tourism industry.

Full article here.