HOSPITALITY TRAININGCENTER PARTNERSHIPFINAL REPORTPrepared for:The SkillWorks Funders GroupBy:Mt. Auburn Associates, Inc.NOVEMBER 2014

Hospitality Training CenterPARTNERSHIP OVERVIEWMission and StructureThe Hospitality Training Center partnership (HTC) provides pre-employment and incumbenttraining for the hospitality sector. Its mission is to “provide individuals the education, skills, andtraining to excel in the hospitality industry and in their personal lives.”BEST Corp., the designated training provider for UNITE HERE Local 26, the hospitality sectorlabor union that represents workers at all 29 unionized hotels in the greater Boston area, leadsthe partnership. In addition to the training provider, union, and employers, the partnershipinvolves several community partners, including the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts,Project Place, X-Cel, Inc. Adult Education, Julie’s Learning Program, and the Boston PrivateIndustry Council. HTC holds quarterly advisory meetings with its partners to discuss currentissues within hotels, changes in the industry, and other updates.ServicesHTC provides job skill development and adult education programming for union members,usually current employees of the partner hotels, and occupational training programs forindividuals interested in starting a new job in the hospitality sector. Since 2009, HTC has servedroughly 1,700 clients. This evaluation focuses on the SkillWorks-funded activities at HTC andthe 429 participants who received those services during the SkillWorks Phase II timeframe(2009-2013).Prior to SkillWorks funding, BEST Corp. focused its occupational skills offerings mainly on roomattendant training, primarily for individuals interested in entering the hospitality sector.SkillWorks support enabled HTC to expand its training offerings and enhance its existing coursesthrough a focus on job retention and career advancement. A critical component of theSkillWorks support was investment in coaching services, which HTC made available tojobseekers as well as incumbent employees pursuing a job advancement or job enhancementpathway. Regardless of their goals, almost all of the HTC participants enrolled in SkillWorksreceived some level of career or academic coaching.The three occupational training tracks in which SkillWorks clients enrolled were: entry-level hospitality (room attendant training); culinary; and professional food server.Hospitality Training Center Partnership2

The culinary and professional food server programs included unemployed and underemployedjobseekers as well as current union hotel employees looking to earn promotions, get new jobs,pick up extra hours, or become more effective at their current job. The focus of the roomattendant training program, on the other hand, was almost entirely on placing unemployed andlow-wage workers into full-time union jobs at partner hotels.Many SkillWorks participants worked with a coach on an advancement strategy that did notinvolve further occupational training, but rather included more general skill enhancement(computer workshops, guest services training), adult basic education (job-based Englishlanguage classes, pre-GED, and GED courses), or postsecondary education-related services.The following table shows how many SkillWorks participants worked toward goals through eachof HTC’s primary advancement pathways during Phase II:A number of SkillWorks participantspursued additional education ortraining at HTC as a complement orsupplementtotheirprimaryadvancement pathway.Roughlyone-third took at least one computeror ESOL course, and more than 40percent (most, but not all, in theculinary or professional food serverpathways) took at least one classoffering a certificate in CPR, alcoholsafety, or food safety.Advancement PathwayRoom Attendant# ofparticipants,12009-2013146CulinaryProfessional Food l Guest Services21Coaching/General Skill Enhancement Only43Participant CharacteristicsBetween the beginning of 2009 and the end of 2013, BEST Corp. enrolled 429 individuals inSkillWorks services. The following table provides information on some of their keydemographic characteristics.1The numbers in this table sum to more than the total number of SkillWorks participants because someparticipants were involved in more than one program.Hospitality Training Center Partnership3

DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS (AT ENROLLMENT)TOTAL NUMBER OF SKILLWORKS PARTICIPANTS:Average AgeBackgroundRace/EthnicityGenderHighest Level ofEducational Attainment42939Living in Boston51%Born Outside the U.S.80%Reports English as Barrier to ianBlack/African-AmericanWhiteOther/two or more racesMale18%Female59%Associates Degree or Higher13%Some College, no Degree17%High School Diploma (or equivalent)37%th12 Grade or Lower, No Diploma31%32%12%7%41%32%HTC serves a predominantly immigrant population. Roughly 80 percent of the 429 SkillWorksparticipants were born outside the U.S., and more than half (54 percent) of the participantsreported that the English language was a significant barrier to job advancement. TheSkillWorks-enrolled population at HTC was quite diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and alsonational origin as there were participants representing about 50 different countries.Another distinctive characteristic of most HTC participants, whether or not they were workingat a partner hotel when they enrolled, is low educational attainment. Only 13 percent hadearned a college degree of two years or more. Thirty-two percent of participants had no highschool diploma or GED, and 9 percent never got past eighth grade. These levels reflect the factthat entry-level hotel positions such as room attendant usually require little, if any, formaleducation. When these jobs are at union hotels, they are highly attractive to people who nevercompleted high school and even to many high school graduates, since they offer pay andbenefits that would often otherwise be unattainable without some postsecondary training orapprenticeship.HTC used a broad definition of incumbent to include any participant employed in the hospitalitysector at the time of enrollment. Pre-employment participants included workers employedoutside the sector as well as the unemployed. This evaluation uses these categories, butfurther divides them to reflect important differences in economic status. The following tableprovides detail on the job status and economic well-being of enrollees in four participantHospitality Training Center Partnership4

categories: workers at partner employers, workers at non-partner employers in the hospitalitysector, workers at employers outside the hospitality sector, and the unemployed.PARTICIPANT ECONOMIC STATUS (AT mentEmployed bynon-partner yed38%17%12%34% 15.61 10.40 10.29n/aAvg. hours/week at primary job37.332.430.1n/a248%73%78%90%# of SkillWorks participants% of SkillWorks participantsAvg. hourly wage% Economically disadvantaged145The 161 workers employed at enrollment at one of the partner hotels earned an average wageof 15.61/hour and worked an average of 37 hours/week. The wages at partner hotels are highcompared to most jobs that do not require a postsecondary credential, particularly given thatthese individuals also receive a generous employer-sponsored benefit package, which includeslow-cost healthcare, paid sick and vacation time, and prepaid legal services. 3 Despite therelatively high wages, 48 percent of workers at partner hotels were determined to beeconomically disadvantaged based on the size and combined income of their families.The 268 participants who were unemployed or working for a non-partner employer were nearlyall struggling. Those who were working had a mean wage of only 10.35/hour and worked anaverage of just 31 hours per week at their primary job. The households of 75 percent of theseenrollees were economically disadvantaged. In terms of earnings and income, there was verylittle difference between enrollees employed outside of hospitality sector and enrolleesemployed by non-partners within the hospitality sector. Most of these participants had thesame goal, whether or not they currently worked in hospitality—getting a job with a partneremployer. The 145 unemployed individuals enrolled in SkillWorks through HTC were, notsurprisingly, in the most precarious economic position of any of the client groups; an estimated90 percent were economically disadvantaged.2SkillWorks defined individuals as economically disadvantaged if they reported receiving certain public benefits(TANF, Food Stamps, SSI-Disability, unemployment benefits) or if their reported yearly family income fell below aminimum necessary level based on their family size.3HTC reports that during the course of the SkillWorks grant, these benefits cost employers an average of 7.26/hour on top of wages.Hospitality Training Center Partnership5

PARTICIPANT OUTCOMESPre-Employment Economic GainsHTC enrolled 195 individuals in training who were not employed in the hospitality industry.This group includes 145 unemployed individuals and 50 individuals working outside the sector.Of the 139 pre-employment participants who completed an HTC program or service, 112 got ajob in hospitality. The majority of these participants--87--gained employment with a partneremployer during Phase II, generally as their initial placement. Pre-employment graduates whogot jobs earned an average starting hourly wage of 14.36, and those who had jobs prior totraining saw their hourly earnings increase by 4.46, or 53 percent, on average.OUTCOMES FOR PRE-EMPLOYMENT PARTICIPANTS# enrolled# completed any training trackCompletion rate# placedPlacement rate# placed with partner employerAvg. hourly wageAvg. hours/weekAvg. increase in hourly wageEmployed OutsideHospitality atEnrollment504896.0%3164.6%24 14.0534.9 4.46Unemployed atEnrollment14513995.9%8158.3%63 14.4737.2n/aWhile HTC maintained contact with many participants once they gained employment, the datatracking was not systematic or comprehensive enough to enable the calculation of an overallretention rate. The exception, however, is data for participants in the room attendant trainingprogram who completed the program in 2011 or later. The Performance by OccupationalTraining Program section of this report presents and analyzes some of the data on this group(which includes incumbents as well as pre-employment participants).Incumbent Advancement and Economic GainsWhile most SkillWorks partnerships worked with incumbent workers to support advancementwithin their existing employer, which most often was an employer partner active in some wayin advising or governing the partnership, HTC took a broader view of sector advancement. HTCworked both with hospitality workers already employed by partner hotels and with hospitalityemployees working elsewhere in the sector but seeking to improve their economic well-beingthrough advancement, often with the goal of getting a job at one of HTC’s unionized employerpartners. While incumbents at the partner hotels generally did not want to switch jobs, anumber of them joined training programs in order to get secondary jobs, such as food server,that offered extra income. Because promotion was not as important a pathway toadvancement for incumbents as new jobs were, this section includes data not just on internalHospitality Training Center Partnership6

promotions, but also on new jobs with different employers (including supplementary jobs, suchas on-call server positions) that resulted in an economic gain. 4HTC enrolled a total of 234 incumbent hospitality sector workers in SkillWorks services duringPhase II, including 161 employees of partner hotels and 73 employees of non-partneremployers. By the end of 2013, 63 of these incumbents, approximately 27 percent, hadadvanced in the sector either through a promotion at their existing employer or through a newjob that represented an economic gain. Individuals who had been working at non-partneremployers saw the biggest economic gains. In fact, 44 of the 73 participants originallyemployed with non-partner employers received a new job after enrolling in HTC, and 39 ofthem got jobs with partner employers. Two of these individuals subsequently received apromotion as well. Overall, incumbent participants hailing from non-partner employers earnedan average hourly wage increase of 4.60 for each instance of job advancement theyexperienced. 5OUTCOMES FOR INCUMBENT PARTICIPANTSEmployed at Enrollment with:PartnerNon-Partner inHospitality# enrolled# receiving promotionAvg. increase in hourly wage associated with promotion# receiving positive new job outcomeAvg. increase in hourly wage associated with new job outcome1617342 1.33 4.221544 0.95 4.62Progress for the 161 individuals already employed at partner hotels was more limited. Lessthan 12 percent, or only 19 of these participants, received a promotion or accepted a new joboffering better pay or extra hours. This low average rate of progression among participantsemployed with partners is due to a number of factors. First, the relatively flat organizationalstructure of most hotels offers few advancement opportunities to workers. Second, theseparticipants are already union members. As such, they have achieved what many regard as thepinnacle of employment within the hospitality sector, outside of management. As unionizedemployees covered by collective bargaining contracts, they usually have secure and relativelywell-compensated jobs. Participants with partner employers have limited incentive to work4HTC staff have also pointed out a number of other participant outcomes that their work may have facilitated,including job-related improvements such as better work schedules, extra hours, or more desirable workassignments, and personal achievements such as purchasing a home or becoming a U.S. citizen. HTC was notable to measure most of these outcomes in a comprehensive way. However, it was able to document that mostof the job changes that resulted in higher wages also had other important benefits, particularly when it came toemployer-provided benefits.5Among the 44 non-partner incumbents who had job advancement outcomes, there were 57 separate instancesof advancement (55 new jobs and 2 promotions), so the per-person increase in hourly wages associated with jobadvancement was approximately 5.96 for this group.Hospitality Training Center Partnership7

toward more senior positions when the advancement would come at the expense of seniority(if they switch into a different job class) or at the expense of union membership and associatedbenefits (if they move into management).While most of the 161 participants already employed at partner hotels do not appear to beexperiencing economic gains as a result of HTC services, they likely continued to see economicgains as a result of their union membership. HTC reports that over the course of SkillWorksPhase II, the contractual wage for room attendants increased from 15.23 to 17.91 an hour.Including the cost of benefits, employers’ total contractual cost per room attendant workerincreased from 21.15 an hour in January 2009 to 26.51 an hour in December 2013.Given the value of these positions at the partner hotels, it is not surprising that coaches reporthaving worked with clients to help them retain employment when challenges arose. Whenparticipants experienced problems at home or in their workplace, rather than quitting andlosing their union benefits, they could work with the BEST Corp. staff to find ways to addressthe issues. Anecdotal evidence suggests that coaching may have helped some clients stay intheir jobs when they would have otherwise left. However there was no system in place fortracking of the challenges or outcomes associated with coaching support, so specific data onthis type of impact are not available.Performance by Occupational Training ProgramWhile HTC offered many different programs, the majority of SkillWorks participants, aboutthree-quarters, enrolled in at least one occupational training program. Almost all of the jobplacement outcomes reported by HTC can be tied to participation in one of these programs.The following table shows the distribution of participants’ enrollment in occupational training.NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS IN OCCUPATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAMSBY EMPLOYMENT STATUS AT ENROLLMENTRoomAttendantEmployed by partnerEmployed by non-partner within hospitalityEmployed by non-partner outside hospitalityUnemployedHospitality Training Center Partnership03727828CulinaryProfessionalFood Server332212247220819

The following table presents outcomes data on the participants of the three SkillWorkssupported programs: the room attendant training program, the culinary program, and theprofessional food server program. As the numbers show, these programs had varying levels ofsuccess in terms of recorded economic gains from new job placements or promotions.OCCUPATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM COMPLETION AND PLACEMENT OUTCOMESRoomAttendant# enrolledCompletion rate# of graduates placed in job related to trainingAvg. starting hourly wageAvg. starting weekly hours% placed with partner employerProfessional FoodServer1469111996.6%76.6%82.4%25 (incl. 1internallypromoted)36.8%*88.2%29 (incl. 1internallypromoted)27.6% 14.79 13.32 10.15**38.932.027.8 ***90.7%64.0%93.1%108Placement rateCulinary* This figure excludes the 7 participants who completed the class that ended in December 2013, just before theend of Phase II data collection. There is no record of job placement for these participants.** Fifteen workers made less than minimum wage because they were in jobs where tips are expected. Theaverage wage for the 14 other jobs was 15.83/hr.*** 16 participants were placed in on-call jobs (all with partner employers). These are not included in this averagebecause there is no information available on how many hours per week they worked.HTC’s room attendant training program—the largest, longest running, and most intensive of thethree occupational training programs—reported very positive job placement outcomes formost of the 146 jobseekers who enrolled during Phase II. Of the 141 participants whosuccessfully completed the program, 108, or 77 percent, got a job related to the training, and91 percent of these jobs were at one of the partner hotels.6,7 The average starting wage afterplacement was 14.79/hour, 8 and almost all of the workers got full-time jobs with full benefits.Most of the new jobs represented a drastic improvement in the client's employment situation.Fifty-seven participants moved from unemployment to employment, 24 moved from one ormore part-time jobs to a full-time job, and the 51 clients who already had a job and got a newjob saw their wages increase by 5.71/hour on average.6For the room attendant training program, evaluators counted several types of jobs in the hotel industry as“related to the training,” since much of the training and job coaching was not specific to the room attendant role.Evaluators included housekeeping jobs (and other similar roles) outside of hotels as successful placements.7In several cases, participants in one of the occupational programs failed to find a job and then entered a differenttraining program, after which they were more successful. In these cases, the job was counted as a placementonly once, for whichever training program was more closely related to the new job.8This is lower than the regular union rate because some clients found placements at lower-wage jobs with nonpartners, and some clients found placements in union jobs that include a probationary period with slightly lowerwages.Hospitality Training Center Partnership9

As previously mentioned, HTC provided supplemental outcomes data on room attendanttrainees who enrolled in 2011 or later. HTC collected and analyzed long-term retention andwage increase data on almost every individual in this group who got a job the sector. The datashow that of the 56 tracked participants in this group, only six left the sector, and the other 50participants, who had been tracked for an average of 22 months, saw their hourly wages go upby 0.76 on average. Fourteen workers had their hourly wages increase by 2.00 or more.Most of these wage gains appear to be standard wage increases included in the collectivebargaining contracts.The culinary and professional food server tracks were not able to duplicate the outcomes of theroom attendant program. Both had reasonably high completion rates—82 and 88 percent,respectively—but most of their graduates did not experience a promotion or placement as aresult. The culinary program reported the better outcomes of the two. It placed 36.8 percentof the 68 clients who completed the program before December 2013, but those who did getjobs earned an average starting wage of 13.32/hour. 9 Eleven of the participants who got jobshad been unemployed before starting the class. About one-third of the students in the culinaryclass were already employed in restaurant or hotel kitchens, and HTC reports that many ofthese workers, particularly those working in the hotels (approximately 10 individuals), were notseeking advancement, but instead were interested in receiving the formal training they had notreceived at the workplace. Of those already employed in a kitchen when they entered theculinary program, only 13 percent advanced through a wage gain, internal promotion, or newjob.The professional food server program had a lower placement rate, with just 29, or 28 percent,of its 105 graduates entering employment related to the training. Fifteen of the placed workerswere members of the final cohort of 18 graduates. These workers all got jobs at the BostonConvention and Exhibition Center as on-call banquet servers. Employed workers were theprimary beneficiary of this training; only five of the 29 workers who got jobs had beenunemployed before the training. Participants already employed at partner hotels were mostlikely to enroll in food server training as a means of supplementing their income above andbeyond their existing position, most likely as an on-call banquet server. HTC reported that 79percent of participants took the class in order to increase their earnings by picking up additionalshift work. Because these jobs have uneven hours, offer less than the minimum wage( 5/hour) because of tipping, and usually supplement existing employment, it is hard toestimate the impact these placements have had on participants. The other job placements ofearlier graduates of the food server program had an average wage of 15.83, but many werealso part-time, so the number of hours worked per week by these earlier graduates at their newjobs was about 28 hours on average.It is important to note that some former participants, especially graduates of the culinary andfood server courses, may have found positions on their own that they never reported to HTC.For room attendants, there is one primary pathway to employment, which usually involves9These two programs each included one worker who used the programs to earn a promotion at their currentemployer. The placement figures reported in the table include these two outcomes.Hospitality Training Center Partnership10

staying in touch with HTC coaches as they guide the participant through the job search,application, and hiring process. For culinary and food server jobs, on the other hand, there aremany potential employment and advancement pathways, most of which involve non-unionemployers. When participants are looking for jobs outside the “orbit” of HTC, maintainingcontact, especially over a long period of time, can be difficult.Educational OutcomesMany of the SkillWorks participants at HTC were pursuing an educational goal, sometimesaligned with, but at other times independent of, a long-term career goal. At least 106participants received services that indicated they were working toward a longer-term academicgoal, either a GED or a postsecondary educational credential. About half of these participantsalso enrolled in an occupational training program during Phase II.Most of the SkillWorks participants withTotal # in GED/pre-GED classes64academic goals were working on getting# enrolled in GED classes24their GED.In total, there were 64# receiving GED10participants who attended a GED or preGEDsuccessrate41.7%GED course. The table presents outcomes# enrolled in pre-GED classes51for these programs. It is clear that many of# making transition to regular GED classes11the clients who were able to matriculate ina GED course progressed—10 out of 24Pre-GED success rate21.6%received their GED, and at least five ofthose 10 entered college. Progress was more limited for pre-GED participants. Only 11 of the51 students in pre-GED classes progressed far enough to enter regular GED classes, but this maybe an indicator of their low initial level of education and their need for remedial support. Atleast 20 percent of participants in these classes had never completed the ninth grade.Only about 18 participants ever enrolled in HTC’s postsecondary education-related services,which included general academic coaching and several different college preparation classes andservices. At least 13 of these students received services while they were in credit-bearingcourses in college, but only one of them reported completing her degree (an associate’s degreefrom Bunker Hill Community College). The lack of more than one completion outcome is likelythe result of a number of factors, including the length of time it takes to complete an academicdegree, language difficulties, work and family commitments, and the scheduling challenges ofon-call and seasonal hospitality work.Both workers and employers recognize that English language skills are necessary for success inthe hospitality sector. Although SkillWorks did not provide direct support for HTC’s ESOLprogramming, more than one-quarter of SkillWorks participants took English language classesthrough HTC during Phase II. Many of these participants were able to improve their Englishlanguage fluency over the course of the initiative. HTC reports that the vast majority(estimated near 90 percent) of SkillWorks participants who enrolled in English classes increasedtheir language skills.Hospitality Training Center Partnership11

EMPLOYER BENEFIT Employers find the greatest benefit they receive from the HTC partnership is the streamof qualified candidates for entry-level positions, particularly for room attendant positions.When partner hotels have openings, they often look to HTC’s room attendant program and aregenerally pleased with the caliber of BEST Corp. graduates. While hotels rarely have a shortageof applicants for entry-level positions, the HTC graduates frequently stand out as among thestronger candidates in the applicant pool. Some hotels interview HTC graduates first, and someuse the HTC graduates to set the benchmark against which to compare other applicants. Onehotel recently filled all its open positions with BEST Corp. graduates. A number of employersnow attend training graduations with business cards to pass out to participants. BEST Corp.’straining applicant screening process identifies participants who are committed to thehospitality sector, are friendly, have sufficient English skills, and are ready to offer the extralevel of service that unionized hotels are seeking. Hotels value the rigor of this screeningprocess, but they also value BEST Corp.’s soft skills training, and the program’s ability to givestudents a realistic understanding of the work.Many employers see HTC as more than a hiring source and find value in the engagement withparticipants. Employers report that their involvement in HTC activities like job shadowingimproves morale in their housekeeping departments, strengthens their workplace cultures, andincreases employees’ level of engagement at work.Partner hotel employers do not articulate a clear value from the occupational skills trainingprograms that focus on food services. Most of the culinary graduates reportedly lack the fullset of skills and the experience needed to access openings in the kitchens of partner hotels.The connection between the professional server training and benefit to employers was alsoweak. The hotels rarely have openings for banquet servers and the desirable positions oftencarry internal wait lists, so HTC’s professional server training was not fulfilling any particularneed among the hotels. Near the end of Phase II, a number of graduates of the professionalfood server program were able to get on-call server jobs at the Boston Convention andExhibition Center, so perhaps the program is more valuable when employers need to fill asignificant number of server openings.Several HTC programs and services focus on serving current workers pursuing long-term careeradvancement through education, but employers rarely mentioned internal advancement whenasked to describe the business benefits from HTC. While SkillWorks encouraged HTC to developpostsecondary pathways for participants, hotels continue to emphasize on-the-job experienceas the primary vehicle for skill enhancement. Stretched human resource staff focus far more onimmediate hiring needs than professional development planning for current employees. Whilethere are exceptions, it is not generally feasible for human resource staff to speak individuallywith lower-level workers about career advancement or even to know which employeesenrolled in HTC training. Employers saw more of a benefit from participants’ participation inESOL and computer classes, which can play a role in advancement, but also enable workers toperform their existing jobs better.Hospitality Training Center Partnership12

Employers see a benefit to the partnership meetings, believing they strengthenrelat

Nov 14, 2014 · The Hospitality Training Center partnership (HTC) provides pre-employment and incumbent training for the hospitality sector. Its mission is to “provide individuals the education, skills, and training to excel in the ho