HospitalityMaine, Labor Department Partner to Develop Maine's Next Generation of Hospitality Workers Bookmark and Share

October 31, 2018


Media Contacts: Kathleen Pierce, Hospitality Maine,, 978-604-2220

Laura Hudson, Maine Department of Labor, 207-621-5009 or 207-530-0178

AUGUSTA - HospitalityMaine and the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) announce a new partnership to establish a unique hospitality apprenticeship that will address the industry's workforce shortage. The hospitality apprenticeship is targeted for a spring 2019 launch with a focus on two tracks: lodging and food service. The official announcement was made during opening remarks at the 2nd Maine Hospitality Summit on Monday in Bangor.

"Our hospitality workforce shortage is the number one issue facing our members today, and into the future," says CEO Steve Hewins. "I believe the HospitalityMaine Apprenticeship Program begins to solve this problem by creating qualified new staff for employers, while offering individuals a clear educational and career path for long-term employment."

HospitalityMaine's sponsorship of the registered apprenticeship means that their more than 1,000 members have an opportunity to home-grow new hospitality workers and retain existing ones in the industry. Apprentices will work and earn a paycheck from the employer while receiving workplace-specific classroom instruction. Sponsors and eligible apprentices will also have potential access to additional state and federal resources and support services for income eligible trainees.

Department of Labor Commissioner, John Butera, addressing the group on Monday, referenced recent concerns about a shortage of workers in the near- and long-term in Maine.

"While attracting more workers to Maine is important and definitely part of the answer, there are still thousands of Maine people who are not engaged in our workforce. It is incumbent upon us at the Department of Labor to engage them and remove as many barriers as possible to their success as part of Maine's economy," said Commissioner Butera. "The HospitalityMaine apprenticeship provides an 'earn while you learn' training option in one of Maine's most vital and growing industries, whether it's a first job, a path to a career, or a career change."

Maine's Apprenticeship Program staff is providing technical assistance to register both employers and apprentices, and working with employers to identify internal career pathways and the tasks the apprentice will learn on the job. The curriculum is being developed in collaboration with the Maine Community College System and Career Education and Technical schools (CTEs) and may include, but is not limited to, culinary, front-of-house operations, human resource management and supervision, industry-specific accounting, ServSafe, hospitality and restaurant marketing, purchasing, and management.

HospitalityMaine brings the total of current Registered Apprenticeship sponsors in Maine to 93. Ninety-one percent of apprentices continue employment after the conclusion of their program, per the US Department of Labor. Sponsors experience improved productivity, reduced turnover and liability costs, and improved company bottom-lines.

About HospitalityMaine

HospitalityMaine, formerly two separate, allied, non-profit trade groups - the Maine Restaurant and the Maine Innkeepers Associations - are now one. The new organization's goal is to build the economic engine of hospitality across the state. Based in Augusta, HospitalityMaine continues to advocate, educate and connect hotels, restaurants and food suppliers across the state. With more than 1,000 members this dynamic, growing organization is poised to tackle the key issues facing the industry.

About Maine Apprenticeship Program

MAP, part of the Bureau of Employment Services at the Maine Department of Labor, assists employer sponsors in setting up structured, yet flexible, training programs designed to meet their specific workforce development needs through on-the-job learning and related classroom instruction. Apprenticeship programs can be sponsored by the business or organization, employer associations, trade groups, or labor/management groups that can hire and train in a working situation. Support from MAP includes assistance with sponsor-specific program development, identification of related instruction providers, federal registration, and pays up to 50 percent of the cost of classroom instruction for eligible apprentices.

In 2017, Maine Apprenticeship Program served 1,056 apprentices with estimated gross wages paid by employers of $36,272,038, at a total cost to taxpayers of $388,991; a ratio of $93.25 gross wages earned per $1.00 tax dollars spent.

The Department of Labor is an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available to individuals with disabilities upon request.

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