Common Ground profiles members of opposing parties who are working together to advance issues important to hoteliers.
by SEAN GROSSNICKLE
After a year of lockdowns, Americans are once again hitting the road to enjoy the summer travel season. State and local restrictions have been lifted across the country and more than 150 million adults have received vaccinations, spurring a wave of domestic travel. Unfortunately, thousands of hospitality businesses, from restaurants to hotels, have yet to recover the millions of jobs lost throughout the pandemic.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that three million leisure and hospitality jobs lost during the past year have not yet returned. Even as the industry experiences a slight economic upturn, many AAHOA Members are struggling to recruit and retain employees. AAHOA conducted a survey in May to gather insights on the ongoing labor shortage and the employment situation among our members. In the AAHOA Hospitality Labor Report, more than 95% of survey respondents reported job openings at their properties. In an effort to attract new talent, 96% of respondents have raised wages for their open positions.
Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the Save Hotel Jobs Act in their respective chambers, sponsoring two pieces of companion legislation that provide hotel owners with up to $20 million to assist with up to three months of payroll costs and other measures to ensure laid-off employees can return to their positions safely and promptly. Rep. Crist (D-FL) introduced the bill on the House floor in April, and it has since gained the support of 20 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle. The Save Hotel Jobs Act offers targeted relief to hospitality workforce through payroll grants, recall rights, and PPE credits. AAHOA and our industry partners thank Rep. Crist (D-FL), Sen. Schatz (D-HI), and the other members of Congress for their continued support for the Save Hotel Jobs Act. As we continue down the road to recovery, AAHOA is firmly committed to work alongside lawmakers to address this developing challenge through community engagement and sound public policies.
Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), Sponsor of the Save Hotel Jobs Act
“These unprecedented times call for unprecedented support. Hotels and hotel employees across the country, and especially in Florida, are still reeling from the pandemic. I’m proud to introduce legislation, supported by both our unions and our hotels, to help this critical Florida industry get back on its feet.”
Sen. Biran Schatz (D-HI), Sponsor of the Save Hotel Jobs Act
“The pandemic has left millions of hotel employees out of work and many more struggling to get by with fewer hours. They need help. Our bill creates a new grant program that will bring back hotel jobs, pay workers, and help our economy recover.”
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Co-sponsor of the Save Hotel Jobs Act
“Hyper-partisanship is the single biggest threat facing our nation. Bipartisanship is the only remedy that will save and heal our nation. Which of these paths one chooses determines whether they desire to be part of the problem or part of the solution. If one chooses partisanship and condemns those who think differently, they are part of the problem. If one chooses bipartisanship and seeks to build bridges with those who think differently, they are part of the solution. I have chosen, and will continue to choose, the path of bipartisanship and problem solving because I love the United States of America, the greatest country on Earth.”