#PoweredByJobs: Generation after generation, the hospitality industry promotes the American dream

Happy Workforce Wednesday and Happy Hospitality Month!

As partners in Washington state’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network, the Employment Security Department helps people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job.

We also work with businesses to help them find employees because we know they’re Powered by Jobs. This week we’re sharing a Powered by Jobs story featuring Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association. The Hospitality Association and WorkSource are partnering to connect workers with jobs in the industry.

If you’re thinking about starting a career in the hospitality field, take a minute to hear how Anthony and his family used the hospitality industry to achieve their American dream!

Welcome to Hospitality Month. I so love my job as CEO of the Hospitality Association because it’s rooted in who I am.

My grandfathers both came from Greece to this country on boats and with next to nothing. One got his very first job in a hotel, working as a dishwasher. The other worked railroads until he ended up at the end of the line in Orting, Wash. and he opened up a little café.

Those two things let them launch careers, raise my parents. They lived the American dream through hospitality. While that’s my grandfather’s story, the cool thing about hospitality is it still does it today.

I’m constantly talking to people like the owner of a Vietnamese restaurant chain in the Seattle area. Her mother’s story when she came to this country is almost the exact same story as my grandfather’s. Opposite parts of the world, same dream, same opportunity, same success. I hear it all the time, whether I’m talking to the Korean American Hotel Owners Association or somebody trying a new Syrian restaurant concept, coming to this country with a passion for Mediterranean food. These opportunities just keep on coming.

So many times I’ve heard people in the industry — general managers or owners — who got their start in hospitality, and now have their dream job and give back to their community.

One of the wonderful things about our industry is we have a tree, where people start from dishwasher and move to line cook and then to sous-chef, and maybe they work for three or four different places. Or they start at the front desk and move to assistant manager from one hotel to another. This tree just keeps growing and growing and growing, and the next thing you know, they’re an assistant manager. Then they move all the way up to general manager and earn more than $100,000 a year!

So many people move from the starting line to $50,000 and beyond, and really start establishing their families and their dreams in hospitality.

If you’d like to learn more about these opportunities, please go to WAHospitalityCareers.com and look us up. Check out our stuff this month as we celebrate Washington Hospitality Month. Thank you!


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