Case Study: Wyoming Lodging & Restaurant Association Industry Partnership

A Highly Trained Workforce for the Industry

Knowing it faces steep turnover and a mismatch of skills between employees and positions, Wyoming’s lodging and restaurant industry (part of the state’s second largest sector - tourism) has tried many fixes over the years. But what is the right solution that will meet employers’ and workers’ needs? The Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association, in partnership with employer stakeholders, embarked on a journey to find out by forming a Hospitality Partnership.

The core purpose of the WLRA Hospitality Partnership (IP) is to uncover the root causes of employment issues facing members of the hospitality and travel industry in Wyoming. Seeded with initial planning grant funding by the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services in 2010, the Partnership has focused its resources on conducting extensive research and engaging industry members. The planning grant’s purpose is to accurately determine the core issues facing the industry, engage employers and relevant partners, and set the stage for implementation of agreed upon solutions. The Partnership, through gathering relevant information from multiple sources, is beginning the process of developing or implementing programs that will alleviate some of the root causes identified in the research.

The Partnership’s fundamental goal is to provide a highly trained workforce for the hospitality industry in Wyoming. Currently, access to post-secondary training programs or employer sponsored programs for individuals seeking to enter the hospitality workforce or to advance internally in their organizations is limited to associate degree programs at three community colleges and secondary programs in high schools in the state. By working with all the partners in the IP, the Partnership will be able to implement programs that aid both employers and employees.

A detailed profile of the partnership and its activities is available here. This powerpoint presentation also describes the partnership and its evolution.

Additional Related Materials

Survey: The partnership worked with a market research firm to develop an employer and employee surveys. This agenda from their meeting with that firm outlines the topics they discussed, and a near-final draft of the resulting survey is here. Here are the survey results.

Proposal: The industry partnership received a planning grant from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services in 2010. Here is their original proposal which led to the funding.