Tourism and Hospitality - John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce ...

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Tourism and Hospitality - John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce ...

Ready for the Job:Understanding Occupationaland Skill Demand in New Jersey’sTourism and Hospitality IndustryA Report of the New Jersey State Employment and Training CommissionPrepared by theJohn J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers UniversityWith the Assistance of the Workforce Investment Boards ofBergen, Cumberland/Salem, Hudson, Mercer and Passiac Counties,and Cumberland County College, Mercer County Community College, and William Paterson UniversityJames E. McGreevey, GovernorSpring 2004


Preface and AcknowledgementsThe Ready for the Job project was developed by the New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission(SETC) with the New Jersey Departments of Labor and Education. The project was directed by Henry Plotkin,Executive Director of the SETC, and was funded by the New Jersey Department of Education. The research wasconducted by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers, The State University of NewJersey, with assistance from the local Workforce Investment Boards of Bergen, Cumberland/Salem, Hudson,Mercer, and Passaic Counties and from researchers at William Paterson University, Cumberland County College,and Mercer County Community College.Principal Investigator:Carl E. Van Horn, Director and ProfessorJohn J. Heldrich Center for Workforce DevelopmentResearch Director:Aaron Fichtner, Director of Research and EvaluationContributing Authors:Heldrich CenterDenise Pierson-Balik, Project ManagerPaget Berger, Senior Practitioner in ResidenceJennifer Cleary, Project DirectorK.A. Dixon, Senior Project ManagerSarah Gyarfas, Project CoordinatorHarriet Kass, Senior Practitioner in ResidenceLaurie Harrington, Project DirectorEditorial advice was provided by Kathy Krepcio, Executive Directorand Herbert Schaffner, Marketing and Communications DirectorOccupational and Skill Demand Project Advisory Board:Gary Altman, New Jersey Department of LaborMarie Barry, New Jersey Department of EducationDian Bates, New Jersey Department of EducationStephen Bruner, Atlantic-Cape May Workforce Investment BoardDana Egreczky, New Jersey Chamber of CommerceMary Gatta, Center for Women and Work, Rutgers UniversityJames Hughes, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public PolicyJoAnn Hammill, New Jersey Department of LaborPatricia Roman, Middlesex County Workforce Investment BoardTapas Sen, State Employment and Training CommissionVivien Shapiro, New Jersey Department of LaborJeffrey Stoller, New Jersey Business and Industry AssociationJohn Tesoriero, New Jersey Commission for Science and TechnologyThe SETC and the Heldrich Center wish to thank Commissioner Albert Kroll, Commissioner William Librera,Governor James McGreevey, and the many employers and citizens of New Jersey who were interviewed for andprovided guidance for these reports.


Project SummaryEconomic prosperity for New Jersey, itscitizens, and its businesses depends on awell-trained workforce. This joint effort of theNew Jersey State Employment and TrainingCommission, the New Jersey Department ofEducation, and the New Jersey Department ofLabor is designed to collect up to date informationfrom employers on the skill needs ofeight key industries in the state. The eightindustries that are the focus of this effort are:health care, finance/insurance, construction,utilities/infrastructure, manufacturing,tourism/hospitality, transportation/logistics,and information technology.The entire effort, led by the local WorkforceInvestment Boards of Bergen,Cumberland/Salem, Hudson, Mercer, andPassaic Counties and guided by IndustryAdvisory Groups, involved over thirty focusgroups and eighty interviews with employersand educators. The Heldrich Center forWorkforce Development at Rutgers, The StateUniversity of New Jersey, with assistance fromresearchers from William Paterson University,Cumberland County College, and MercerCounty Community College, conducted thisresearch to identify the skills, knowledge, andeducational requirements of seventy-fourselect occupations and eleven areas of work.The Heldrich Center and its research partnersalso identified the key trends in each industrythat affect skill requirements and identifiedstrategies for meeting the key workforcechallenges of each industry.The information collected through this effortwill be disseminated through this series ofreports and through an Internet website(www.njnextstop.org) that will include asearchable database of each profiled occupation.This information will assist a variety ofusers. Students and job seekers can use thisinformation to make decisions about educationand careers. Educational and traininginstitutions can use this information todevelop course and programs of study thatwill provide individuals with necessary skills.Policy makers at the state level can use thisinformation to ensure that governmentresources are invested in programs and effortsthat will benefit individuals and businesses.Understanding Occupationaland Skill Demand inNew Jersey’s Tourism andHospitality IndustryExecutive SummaryThe tourism and hospitality industry is acrucial one for the state, employing largenumbers of residents and attracting millionsof tourists and visitors each year. While theindustry boasts the leisure opportunities ofthe Jersey Shore, Atlantic City, Six FlagsGreat Adventure and other regional attractions,the industry also benefits from itsclose proximity and easy access to New YorkCity and Philadelphia. Currently, the industrygenerates $17 billion in annual statewages and is an important contributor tostate revenue, yielding over $3.8 billionin state tax dollars each year. 1 In total,consumers spent $31 billion in New Jersey’stourism and hospitality industry in 2001.More importantly, individuals from outside ofthe state contributed eighty-five percent ofthese expenditures. 2Its three primary sectors, hotels and lodging, eating and drinking places, andamusement and recreation services, employ over 300,000 people in the state. 3However, New Jersey employers are experiencing serious difficulties inattracting and maintaining the skilled workforce they need to remain a vitalcontributor to the state economy. Thisreport summarizes the skill, knowledge,and educational requirements ofkey occupations in the tourism andhospitality industry and identifiesstrategies for meeting the key workforcechallenges facing the industry.Skill Requirements ofSelectedJob GroupsTen occupations selected for this studylargely fall into four “job groups” thatshare a common set of core competencies, basic educational requirements, andskill sets. While within each job group the level of skill mastery required varies,the occupations within the job group share a common continuum of competenciesand tasks. In a dynamic and fluid economy, the definitions and requirementsof occupations change often and can vary from one employer to another.The grouping of occupations into job groups minimizes the effect of thesedifferences.


Customer Service and SupportThe Customer Service and Support job group includes occupationssuch as waiters and hotel clerks. The performance ofthese frontline workers is critical to an organization’s image asthese are the individuals who interact directly and daily withtourism and hospitality customers. Work in this area requiresthat employees be able to assess and respond to customerneeds, introduce and market products persuasively, as well asmake quick and accurate referrals when necessary. Communicationskills are essential for successful performance in thisjob group, as are a sense of initiative, commitment to quality,and problem solving skills. Customer Service and Support staffmust also possess the ability to remain organized and calmunder pressure, as they seek to meet the many and varyingneeds of their customers.Occupations: Waiter and waitress, gaming dealer, amusement and recreationattendant, hotel, motel and resort desk clerkCore CompetenciesDemonstrate emotional maturity when interacting with employers, colleagues, and clientsIdentify customer needs quickly and accurately and take appropriate actions to addressthose needsIntroduce and market products persuasively, relying on strong product and firm-specificknowledgeMake referrals appropriately and quickly, relying on strong knowledge of others’ roles withinthe firmSample SkillsCoordinationCommunication and teamworkProblem solving and critical thinkingService orientationSocial perceptivenessLabor and Skilled Trade WorkLabor and Skilled Trades workers in the tourism and hospitalityindustry work to insure the consistency and reliability of theestablishment’s “product,” be it a meal or the cleanliness andcomfort of a hotel room. The occupations in this categoryinclude low to medium-skilled positions such as maids andhousekeepers and food preparation workers. Employers typicallyrequire workers to have a high school or equivalent degreeand provide the necessary on-the-job training. Strong skills inmathematics, reading comprehension, and communication areconsidered desirable among employers as is awareness ofcustomer service. These individuals must be adept at meetingemployer standards, plus understanding customers’ needs andenhancing customer satisfaction through use of strong problemsolving and critical thinking skills. All positions in this arearequire strict adherence to standards, safety procedures, andregulations. In addition, Labor and Skilled Trades workers needto be adept at selecting and maintaining their occupationalequipment.Tourism and Hospitality Industry ReportOccupations: Food preparation worker, maid and housekeeperCore CompetenciesSelect and use tools and materials with precision to meet task specificationsApply knowledge of math concepts relevant to industryUnderstand and adhere to safety precautions with consistencyApply knowledge of technology concepts relevant to industryDemonstrate initiative and an ability to think critically and solve problems in a time andcost efficient mannerSome positions in this job group require workers to conduct quality control analysis, relyingon thorough knowledge of product and service delivery specificationsUse technology effectively to complete tasksDemonstrate a thorough and consistent awareness to “red flags” in order to prevent fraudSample SkillsMathematicsProblem solving and critical thinkingEquipment selection and maintenanceOperation and controlInstallation and repairingReading comprehension2 Ready for the Job:


Management/SupervisionManagement/supervision workers are responsible for creating aseamless experience for the tourism and hospitality consumer,whether it is a night of entertainment or a business stay overat a hotel. For the managerial positions, employers preferapplicants with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Employerstell us that key skills in this category include: industryknowledge, ability to problem solve and remain organizedand calm under pressure, commitment to quality, and strongcommunication and teamwork skills. Specialized skills andknowledge in information technology, culinary arts, gaming,marketing, or finance may also be required. Entrepreneurshipand business skills are increasingly desired in all aspects ofthe industry, even among entering managers. In addition topossessing solid operational knowledge, the manager must alsohandle administrative matters plus personnel selection anddevelopment. Managers/supervisors must use strong decisionmaking skills in order to allocate resources effectively so thatproject goals, budgets, and deadlines are met.Occupations: Gaming supervisor, food service manager, first-linesupervisor - food preparation and food serving workerCore CompetenciesUse effective judgment and decision making to allocate resources and personnel to meetproject budget and deadline.Communicate and coordinate the efforts of multiple project partners, vendors, and workersto share common organizational goals.Understand and adhere to safety precautions with consistency.Provides technical leadership across projects/disciplines.Sample SkillsProblem solving and critical thinkingEntrepreneurship and business skillsCoordinationCommunication and teamworkMonitoringTime managementManagement of personnel resourcesSafety and SecurityThose employed in this job group (security guards) contributedirectly to the customers’ perception of the security of tourismand hospitality establishments. These individuals represent acritical and growing occupation in the tourism and hospitalityindustry. The guards perform traditional functions of patrollingand protection in hotels and resorts, or on the premises ofclubs, bars, and restaurants. Guards also answer securityrelatedcalls or respond to alarms and monitor securitysystems. Employers typically require a high school degreeand provide necessary on-the-job training. Skills that areneeded in the security occupations include: social perceptive-Occupations: Security guardCore CompetenciesCommunicate effectively with the public, coworkers, and othersIdentify and investigate suspicious activities and/or accidents effectivelyDemonstrate ability in speaking other languages. Spanish language skills are particularlydesirable.ness, critical thinking, decision-making, and knowledge oflaw enforcement and local regulations. In a resort or casinolocation, guards may have considerable interaction withpatrons, requiring strong monitoring skills, problem sensitivity,and strong communication and interpersonal skills. Theability to speak and understand other languages, particularlySpanish, is highly desired by employers in their Safety andSecurity staff. In more advanced positions within the securityprofession, the skills of pattern recognition, communications,and the ability to remain focused under pressure are at apremium.Sample SkillsProblem solving and critical thinkingCommunicationMonitoringSocial perceptivenessTourism and Hospitality Industry ReportUnderstanding Occupational and Skill Demand in New Jersey’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry 3


Tourism and Hospitality Industry ReportKey Workforce ChallengesThe tourism and hospitality industry in New Jersey is facingtwo primary workforce challenges:Challenge 1: Attracting and Recruiting Workers. As aresult of industry growth and difficulties in attracting newworkers for lower-skilled, harder to fill positions (due tothe perception that industry benefits and advancementopportunities are poor), the tourism and hospitality industryis confronting a serious and continuing shortage ofskilled workers.Challenge 2: Preparing Skilled, Qualified Entry-LevelWorkers. Employers report that new entrants into thetourism and hospitality industry lack the necessaryworkforce readiness, basic skills, and cross-industrydemand skills.To address these challenges, the tourism and hospitalityindustry must work with the public and the private sector, aswell as educational institutions, to create and coordinate acomprehensive set of workforce development strategies.Recommendations for doing so must recognize the complexneeds of this changing industry.RecommendationsThe tourism and hospitality industry is faced with two majorchallenges in meeting the current and future labor and skillneeds. First, many of the jobseekers who have the skillsnecessary for tourism and hospitality jobs have a low degreeof interest in the industry. Secondly, many of the potentialentrants who may be interested in taking jobs in the industrylack the necessary qualifications for the jobs.1. Recommendations to Attract and RecruitWorkersRecruit Workers from Untapped Labor PoolsAttract Immigrants and Senior Citizens to the Industry inSouth Jersey: Employers in South Jersey tell us that they havebeen slow to embrace the immigrant labor pool. They stress,however, that they are a viable source of labor, particularly forlower-skilled, harder to fill positions, of which there is anabundance in the tourism and hospitality industry, althoughsome of these jobs do not offer high pay or security. Employerssuggest that the local One-Stop Career Centers could play arole in accessing these workers, perhaps through ESL classes,citizenship classes, and other strategies to integrate this laborpool into the workforce.Some senior citizens have expressed interest in the gamingindustry if they could be assured of part-time, daytime shifts.Seniors may also be recruited by employer provision ofdesirable benefits, particularly prescription drug coverage.4 Ready for the Job:Offer Transportation Incentives: Employers offering transportationincentives can recruit a pool of unemployed andunderemployed workers who would otherwise not consider theindustry for employment given their geographic distance fromemployers. Options include subsidization for transportation(either through reimbursement or wage differentials for thoseemployees commuting from further away) or provision ofalternative transportation options. These options include:organizing car pools, providing a shuttle bus, and by lobbyingfor increased means of public transportation.Improve the Working EnvironmentImprove the Working Environment: To increase the supply ofqualified new workers to the industry, employers should makeefforts to minimize the unattractive aspects of tourism andhospitality jobs that were identified in the Atlantic-Cape MayWIB focus groups. For example, casinos in Atlantic City shouldreview security concerns such as poor lighting in employeeparking facilities and inadequate staffing of security personnel.Increases in the perceived safety of the workplace couldentice some potential employees to the industry. Hospitalityemployers could also combat their image as antifamily byoffering some potential workers with guaranteed shiftassignments that will better allow them to balance their workand family obligations. 4 Finally, by creating clear careeradvancement opportunities for entry-level workers, employersmay help to attract new workers to careers in the industry.2. Recommendations for Preparing Skilled,Qualified Entry-Level WorkersStrengthen Secondary EducationIncorporate Workplace Readiness and Cross-IndustryDemand Skills Needed in the Workplace into SchoolCurricula: Employers in this and other industries report thatmany entry-level workers lack workplace readiness skills andcross-industry demand skills that are necessary to succeed innearly all jobs in the twenty-first century world of work. Highschools should work to incorporate these key skills into thecurriculum. Since cross-industry demand skills, such as teamwork/communicationand problem solving/criticalthinking, can be applied in any discipline, these skills can beincorporated into existing curricula.Workplace readiness skills should also be integrated into thehigh school experience as well. While still in its infancy, theSchoolCounts! Program, in place in several counties in NewJersey and developed by the Business Coalition for EducationExcellence at the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, may be apromising approach. This program rewards students by issuingan employer-recognized certificate to students for promisingbehavior such as consistently high attendance rates, aboveaverage academic performance, finishing high school ontime and taking initiative by enrolling in extra courses.Local employers enrolled in the program agree to acceptthe SchoolCounts! Certificate as evidence of workforcepreparedness.


Continue and Support Existing Industry Efforts: AtlanticCity employers have developed a robust in-house program andpartnership with the local college to enhance the skills forentry-level and other incumbent workers through their stateof-the-arttechnology laboratory. Employers should continue tomake these training resources and opportunities available totheir workers to keep them competitive. Educators, workforcedevelopment professionals, and policy makers should workclosely to employers to support and help coordinate this andother industry efforts, such as the Eagle Academy Project.Atlantic City Partners, in conjunction with the local WIB andlocal 54 of the Union of Restaurants and Hotel Workers hasproposed a model for training entry-level workers to fill “backof the house” jobs. The model asks employers to providefive cents per employee hour worked for training costs. Thetraining fund, to be administered by the Partnership, wouldbe spent to renovate a local firehouse and convert it into atraining center. Since this agreement requires negotiation viathe union contracts, the first casino to consider the plan is theBorgata, which is currently in the process of ratifying theircontract.Reader’s NoteReady for the Job Identifies Four Skill TypesThe Ready for the Job project identifies four types of skills that arerequired by or important to employers. Employers require basicskills and workplace readiness skills for nearly all jobs. Crossindustrydemand skills, identified through the focus groups andinterviews with employers, are important in a variety of occupationsin many industries. Finally, employers require advanced technicaland professional skills for many jobs. These skills are job-specificand are typically obtained through post-secondary education andtraining either provided by educational institutions or by employers.Type of Skill Definition Level of ImportanceBasic Skills Ability to read, write, Criteria for most entryand perform basic level or low-level or lowmathematicalskilled types of jobs.calculations.Workplace Minimum expectations Criteria for all jobs in theReadiness Skills for functioning in the workforce.workplace, that includemeeting standards forattendance and promptness,reliability and integrity, as wellas dress and decorum.Cross-Industry Broader skills sets that are Strength in these skill areasDemand Skills in the highest demand among can lead to expandedemployers in today’s employment opportunitieseconomy, and indicative of and career successsuccess in the workforce. across industries.These cross-industry demandskills include:- Math and technology skills- Problem solving and critical thinking skills- Communication and teamwork skills- Entrepreneurship and business skillsAdvanced Skills acquired through Criteria for performanceTechnical/ education and training in specific jobs.Professional needed to perform specific Education and trainingSkills tasks and succeed in is provided by postspecificjobs.secondary educationinstitutions and /oremployers.1 Office of the Governor, State of New Jersey. “McGreevey Kicks OffSummer Tourism Advertising Campaign.” Press Releases. 19 May2003. 2Longwoods International. Travel and Tourism in New Jersey: AReport on the 2001 Travel Year. May 2002.3New Jersey Department of Labor. Occupational EmploymentStatistics Wage Survey: 2003 Edition. January 2003.4Atlantic Cape May Workforce Investment Board. Atlantic CityPartners: A Phase I Sectoral Strategic Plan for Workforce Developmentin the Atlantic City NJ Hospitality Industry. Funded by the USDepartment of Labor. July 2002.Tourism and Hospitality Industry ReportUnderstanding Occupational and Skill Demand in New Jersey’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry 5


Understanding Occupational and Skill Demand inNew Jersey’s Tourism and Hospitality IndustryI. IntroductionThe tourism and hospitality industry in New Jersey is anintegral part of the state’s economy. Its three primary sectors,hotels and lodging, eating and drinking places, and amusementand recreation services, employ over 300,000 people in thestate. 5 This report summarizes the skill, knowledge, andeducational requirements of key occupations in the tourismand hospitality industry and identifies strategies for meetingthe key workforce challenges facing the industry.An in-depth sectoral study of Atlantic City’s hospitalityindustry conducted by the Atlantic-Cape May WorkforceInvestment Board (WIB) in 2002 forms the foundation of thisreport. 6 The Atlantic-Cape May WIB sectoral study, funded by aUS Department of Labor Phase I Sectoral Initiative Grant,included a review and analysis of labor market data and anenvironmental scan of trends impacting the Atlantic Cityhospitality industry. The study also included twelve focusgroups with potential employees for the Atlantic Cityhospitality industry in six South Jersey counties, as well asfocus groups with human resource managers in the industry.The Heldrich Center used the findings from Atlantic-Cape MayWIB sectoral study and employment projections developedby the New Jersey Department of Labor to select ten keyoccupations for skill demand analysis. The Heldrich Centerthen used information from the O*NET system to determinethe skill and education requirements of these key occupations.Finally, the Heldrich Center conducted interviews with industrystakeholders to further identify key industry trends andthe skill, knowledge, and educational requirements of theselected occupations.II. Profile of the Industry and ItsSkill Needsa. Background of the Tourism and HospitalityIndustry and its Importance to New JerseyThe tourism and hospitality industry is a crucial one for thestate, employing large numbers of residents and attracting millionsof tourists and visitors each year. While the industryboasts the leisure opportunities of the Jersey Shore, AtlanticCity, Six Flags Great Adventure and other regional attractions,the industry also benefits from its close proximity and easyaccess to New York City and Philadelphia. Currently, the industrygenerates $17 billion in annual state wages. The industry isalso an important contributor to state revenue, yielding over$3.8 billion in state tax dollars each year. 7 In total, consumersspent $31 billion in New Jersey’s tourism and hospitalityindustry in 2001. More importantly, individuals fromoutside of the state contributed eighty-five percent of theseexpenditures. 8Despite the economic downturn of recent years and the eventsof September 2001, the tourism and hospitality industry inNew Jersey, and especially its resort/gaming component,continues to remain strong. In fact, many regional leisureconsumers have opted to spend their vacations in New Jersey,instead of more distant destinations. Visits to Atlantic Citycasinos rose by 4 percent between September of 2001 and Juneof 2002, increasing casino revenues by 3.5%. 9 According to thestate’s Office of Travel and Tourism, the number of visitors toNew Jersey in 2002 exceeded the level in 2001 by 2 percentand spending increased by 8 percent. 10The tourism and hospitality industry is comprised of multiplesectors including hotels and other lodging places, eating anddrinking places, and amusement and recreation services,among others. All industry sectors employ managers overseeingplanning, operations and personnel for the industry’s manyestablishments. However, employment in this industry fallslargely within the entry-level service positions such as thoseheld by waiters, housekeepers, gaming dealers, and food preparationstaff, among others. Most entry-level jobs in the tourismand hospitality industry do not require formal education. Thebulk of tourism and hospitality jobs are within the eating anddrinking places sector.Individuals employed in the tourism and hospitality industryacross the nation are more likely to hold part-time or seasonalpositions, work in service occupations, and earn below averagewages, than those employed in most other industries. Two outof three of those employed in the hotel and lodging sectorheld service occupations in 2000, while 56 percent of amusementand recreation sector employees held the same. Nearlynine out of ten jobs in the nation’s eating and drinking sectorare service jobs. Non-supervisory workers in lodging earned$298 a week in 2000 while eating and drinking placesnon-supervisory employees averaged just $177. Amusement andrecreation non-supervisory employees earned an average of$262 a week in 2000. 11 Average earnings of workers in thetourism and hospitality industry are significantly higher inNew Jersey than in other states.Tourism and Hospitality Industry ReportUnderstanding Occupational and Skill Demand in New Jersey’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry 7


Figure 2.1: At-a-Glance:The Tourism and Hospitality IndustryEating & Drinking Hotels & Other Amusement &Places Lodging Places Recreation ServicesEconomic Impact: National and StateIndustry as share of GDP (2001) 12 N/A 0.9% 0.8%Industry as share of GSP (2001) 13 N/A 1.4% 0.7%Employment and Compensation: National 14Number employed (2000) 8.1 million 1.9 million 1.7 millionAverage Weekly Earnings (2000) 15 $177 $298 $262Projected Growth in Employment from 2000-2010 18% 13% 35%Employment and Compensation: New JerseyNumber employed (2003) 16 179,920 71,420 42,550Average Weekly Earnings (2003) 17 $356 $474 $522Projected Growth in Employment from 2000-2010 18 13.5% 10.8% 30.1%b. Skill Requirements of Selected Occupational GroupsTen occupations were selected by the Heldrich Center inconjunction with the Atlantic-Cape May WIB for in-depth skilldemand analysis in this study. These occupations were amongthose with the largest number of annual openings or wereexpected to experience significant growth in openings duringthe next 10 years. These occupations represent a diversity ofeducational requirements and incomes.In 2000, 197,900 individuals were employed in these tenselected occupations in the state (Figure 2.2). The number ofindividuals employed in these occupations is expected to growby 17% from 2000 to 2010 and produce 10,780 openings eachyear. The mean annual wages of these occupations ranged from$15,785 to $52,345 in 2003.Tourism and Hospitality Industry Report8 Ready for the Job:


Figure 2.2: New Jersey Employment 19 and Earnings 20 in Selected Occupations*Throughout All IndustriesOccupation Mean Estimated Projected Percent AnnualAnnual Wages Number Employed Number Employed Change Openings (due to both2003 2000 2010 2000–2010 growth & replacementCUSTOMER SERVICE/SUPPORTWaiter and Waitress $17,510 62,300 70,600 13.3% 4,330Gaming Dealer $17,350 8,900 10,900 23.2% 510Hotel, Motel and Resort $20,205 3,800 4,700 23.4% 260Desk ClerkAmusement and $15,785 4,800 6,000 24.6% 280Recreation AttendantLABOR AND SKILLED TRADE WORKFood Preparation Worker $18,345 26,400 30,300 14.8% 1,410Maid/Housekeeping Cleaner $18,800 24,300 30,100 23.8% 1,110MANAGEMENT/SUPERVISIONGaming Supervisor $47,245 2,600 3,0001 2.6% 110Food Service Manager $52,345 5,700 6,200 8.1% 120First-Line Supervisor $31,045 13,900 15,100 8.8% 470Food Preparation & Serving WorkersSAFETY AND SECURITYSecurity Guard $21,395 45,200 54,600 20.8% 2,180* Totals may not add due to rounding. Employment data are rounded to 100. Percent changes are based on unrounded data.The ten selected occupations in the tourism and hospitalityindustry largely fall into four job groups that share a commonset of core competencies, basic educational requirements, andskill sets (see Figure 2.3). These include Labor and SkilledTrade positions (food preparation worker, maid/housekeepingcleaner); Management/Supervision positions (such as gamingsupervisor, food service manager, and first-line supervisor offood preparation and serving workers); Customer Service/Support positions (such as waiter/waitress, hotel desk clerk,amusement and recreation attendant, and gaming dealer); andSafety and Security work (security guard). A description ofthese selected occupations, their skill requirements, and keyworkforce issues can be found in Appendix B.Tourism and Hospitality Industry ReportUnderstanding Occupational and Skill Demand in New Jersey’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry 9


Job GroupsFigure 2.3:Description ofJob GroupProfile of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Job GroupsOccupationsIncluded in JobGroupEducation/TrainingRequired orPreferred byEmployersCore Competencies 21Sample OccupationalSkillsCustomerService/SupportWork that involvesinteracting with customerson the frontline.Workers mayperform differenttechnical tasks,depending on thebusiness they workwithin, but generallyincludes fieldingcustomer concernsand inquiries.Increasingly, workersin these positionsmust market andsell companyproducts or services.Waiter and WaitressGaming DealerAmusement andRecreation AttendantHotel, Motel, andResort Desk ClerkHS diploma/GEDDemonstrate emotional maturitywhen interacting withemployers, colleagues, andclientsIdentify customer needs quicklyand accurately and takeappropriate actions to addressthose needsIntroduce and market productspersuasively, relying on strongproduct and firm-specificknowledgeMake referrals appropriatelyand quickly, relying on strongknowledge of others’ roleswithin the firmCoordinationCommunication andteamworkProblem solving andcritical thinkingService orientationSocial perceptivenessApply math and finance conceptsroutinely and accuratelyUse technology effectively tocomplete tasksDemonstrate a thorough andconsistent awareness to “redflags” in order to preventfraudTourism and Hospitality Industry ReportLabor and SkilledTrade WorkWork that involvesbuilding, repairing,installing, controlling,or operatingequipment and othermaterials. Alsoincludes worksuch as cleaningbuildings,landscapinggrounds, andpreparing foods.Food PreparationWorkerMaid/HousekeeperUnion workers:HS diploma/GED andapprenticeship, whichincludes classroom andon-the-job trainingNon-union workers:On-the-job trainingOften, technical/vocational certificationrequiredSelect and use tools andmaterials with precision tomeet task specificationsApply knowledge of mathconcepts relevant to industryUnderstand and adhere tosafety precautions withconsistencyApply knowledge of technologyconcepts relevant to industryDemonstrate initiative and anability to think critically andsolve problems in a time andcost efficient mannerSome positions in this jobgroup require workers toconduct quality controlanalysis, relying on throughknowledge of product andservice delivery specificationsMathematicsProblem solving and criticalthinkingEquipment selection andmaintenanceOperation and controlInstallation and repairingReading comprehensioncontinued on next page10 Ready for the Job:


Figure 2.3:continuedJob GroupsDescription ofJob GroupOccupationsIncluded in JobGroupEducation/TrainingRequired orPreferred byEmployersCore Competencies 21Sample OccupationalSkillsManagement/SupervisionWork that involvessupervising,coordinating, andplanning work of siteand staffGaming SupervisorFood Service ManagerFirst Line Supervisor–Food Preparation andFood Serving WorkersHS diploma/GEDWork experience.Bachelor’s degreepreferred for managers,especially among thoseapplicants who do nothave past experiencewith the hiring company.Associate’s degreepreferred for first-linesupervisors.Use effective judgment anddecision making to allocateresources and personnel tomeet project budget anddeadline.Communicate and coordinatethe efforts of multiple projectpartners, vendors, and workersto share common organizationalgoals.Understand and adhere tosafety precautions with consistency.Provides technical leadershipacross projects/disciplines.Problem solving andcritical thinkingEntrepreneurship andbusiness skillsCoordinationCommunication and teamworkMonitoringTime managementManagement of personnelresourcesSafety and SecurityWork that involvesinvestigating suspiciousactivity and/oraccidents, enforcinglaws and regulations,and interactingwith the publicto ensure safety andsecurity.Security GuardAt least 2 years of collegeeducation or militaryexperience generallypreferred.Communicate effectively withthe public, coworkers, andothersIdentify and investigatesuspicious activities and/oraccidents effectivelyDemonstrate ability in speakingother languages. Spanishlanguage skills are particularlydesirable.Problem solving and criticalthinkingCommunicationMonitoringSocial perceptivenessWhile within each job group the level of skill mastery requiredvaries, the occupations within the job group share a commoncontinuum of competencies and tasks. In a dynamic and fluideconomy, the definitions and requirements of occupationschange often and can vary from one employer to another. Thegrouping of occupations into job groups minimizes the effectof these differences.Customer Service/SupportDescription and Skill RequirementsThe Customer Service and Support job group includes manyentry-level positions that generally require a high schooldegree. The positions are often part time and may be seasonalin nature. The performance of these frontline workers is criticalto an organization’s image as these are the individuals whointeract directly and daily with tourism and hospitalitycustomers. As such, Customer Service and Support workers area key component of the customer’s experience and desire toreturn to the establishment or recommend it to others.Occupations in this area focus on customer interaction,understanding clients’ needs, and satisfying clients in a mannerconsistent with the image and financial requirements ofthe firm. Work in this area also requires that employees beable to introduce and market products persuasively, as well asmake quick and accurate referrals when necessary.Customer Service and Support workers must be able to communicateeffectively with customers and their fellow colleaguesand possess a strong service orientation. Other key skills orattributes sought by employers in their customer service/support staff include: sense of initiative, commitment toquality, and problem solving skills. Customer Service andSupport staff must also possess the ability to remain organizedand calm under pressure, as these are the individuals who mustcoordinate the many needs of their customers, often at thesame time. English proficiency and social perceptiveness areessential for successful performance in all customer service/support occupations.Tourism and Hospitality Industry ReportUnderstanding Occupational and Skill Demand in New Jersey’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry 11


Workforce Trends and IssuesWorkforce Trends and IssuesTourism and Hospitality Industry ReportWages in this job group are traditionally low, seasonallyaffected, and are often intended to be supplemented by tips,causing many job seekers to view this job group as undesirable.As a result of this job group’s negative image, employers reportexperiencing difficulty in attracting and recruiting for thesepositions. In the gaming industry, many casinos are increasingthe number of automated slot positions and decreasing thenumber of gaming tables, decreasing the demand for gamingdealers.Emerging SkillsWhile occupations in this job group have not been subjected tomajor changes in skill requirements, technology has resulted insome minor changes in the skill needs of some occupations.For example, hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks are nowasked to make increasing use of database managementsoftware and other customized applications. The data fromthese applications support not only customer service, but alsosecurity, marketing, and entertainment functions. Typicalapplications include tracking rooms and projecting vacancies.Computer familiarity and an ability to learn new technologyare therefore emerging skills desired by employers in theircustomer service/support workforce.Labor and Skilled TradesDescription and Skill RequirementsLabor and Skilled Trades workers in the tourism and hospitalityindustry work to insure the consistency and reliability of theestablishment’s “product,” be it a meal or the cleanliness andcomfort of a hotel room. The occupations in this categoryinclude low to medium-skilled positions such as maids andhousekeepers and food preparation workers. Employerstypically require workers to have a high school or equivalentdegree and provide the necessary on-the-job training.Mathematics and reading comprehension skills are required ofall jobs in this category. These jobs sometimes require directcustomer contact (though less often than those employed inthe industry’s customer service/support job group).Consequently, strong communication skills and a serviceorientation are considered desirable among employers. Theseindividuals must be adept at meeting employer standards,as well as understanding customers’ needs and enhancing customersatisfaction through use of strong problem solving andcritical thinking skills. All positions in this area require strictadherence to standards, safety procedures, and regulations. Inaddition, Labor and Skilled Trades workers need to be adept atselecting and maintaining their occupational equipment(whether it be the correct cutting knife or cleaning solution)as well as the operation and control of that equipment.Oftentimes, Labor and Skilled Trades workers must possessinstallation and repairing skills as well.As with many entry-level jobs in the tourism and hospitalityindustry, employers report that the low wages and lack ofadvancement opportunities for these jobs, as well as the competitionfrom other industries make it difficult to recruit andretain workers in these positions.Management/SupervisionDescription and Skill RequirementsManagement/supervision workers are responsible for creating aseamless experience for the tourism and hospitality consumer,whether it is a night of entertainment or a business stay-overat a hotel. There are many Management/Supervision positionsin the growing tourism and hospitality industry. Some of theManagement/Supervision occupations include: gaming supervisors,food service managers, and first-line supervisors of foodpreparation and food serving workers.For the managerial positions, employers prefer applicants withan associate’s or bachelor’s degree. In addition, in-housetraining programs are generally available at the largertourism and hospitality establishments to assist incumbentworkers who are seeking to rise through the ranks and intomanagement positions. While pay is still relatively low, as inthe rest of the industry, the managers are likely to supplementpay with bonuses and industry perks. Employment as amanager in a large hospitality firm (such as a chain hotel),management trainees and even experienced managers may berotated to gain experience or solve problems. Most of theindustry establishments function around the clock or featureextended hours, requiring workers in this job group to beextremely flexible on their availability to work.Employers tell us that key skills in this category include:industry knowledge, ability to problem solve and remainorganized and calm under pressure, commitment to quality andstrong communication and teamwork skills. Specialized skillsand knowledge in information technology, culinary arts,gaming, marketing or finance may also be required.Entrepreneurship and business skills are increasingly desiredin all aspects of the industry, even among entering managers.In addition to possessing solid operational knowledge,the manager must also handle administrative matters pluspersonnel selection and development. Managers/supervisorsmust use strong decision making skills in order to allocateresources effectively so that project goals, budgets, anddeadlines are met. Guaranteeing safety, security and adherenceto applicable regulations is also part of the managers’ job.A recent survey conducted by the Cornell School of HotelAdministration identified the following managerial skills askey to successful performance on the job: 2212 Ready for the Job:


Ability to manage effectively with a lean staffForecasting and planning for recoveryReinforcing superior guest service even in difficulttimesUnderstanding the budget process and how to stretch amodest budgetCreating and managing local partnershipsWorkforce Trends and IssuesThe burdens of running a business in markets where costsare continually under scrutiny, and qualified workers aredifficult to recruit and retain are significant for the industry’smanagers. Managers must devise solutions to overcome shortagesand manage workers whom they want to retain throughthe inevitable peaks and slow times of the year.Emerging SkillsManagers need increased computer skills so they may applyindustry-specific software. In the gaming sector, increasedcomputer skills are needed so that managers can apply moresophisticated games and tracking mechanisms. In all sectorsof the industry, security has become a paramount concern,resulting in more applications of technology designed tobetter guarantee safety.Safety and Security WorkDescription and Skill Requirementsoccupation, plus the prevalence of outsourcing oftencontribute to high turnover in these occupations. Also, drugscreening and the requirement for stringent background checksfurther limits the entry-level pool.Skills that are needed in the security occupations include:social perceptiveness, critical thinking, decision-making, andknowledge of law enforcement and local regulations. Ina resort or casino location, guards may have considerableinteraction with patrons, requiring strong monitoring skills,problem sensitivity, and strong communication and interpersonalskills. The ability to speak and understand otherlanguages, particularly Spanish, is highly desired by employersin their Safety and Security staff.In more advanced positions within the security profession, theskills of pattern recognition, job-related communications, andmultitasking, plus the ability to remain focused under pressureare at a premium.Workforce Trends and IssuesGuards are increasingly involved in plans to respond in theevent of terrorist or other security threats. In addition,the security systems that monitor premises for threats arebecoming more complex.Emerging SkillsIndividuals employed in this job group are increasinglyexposed to new and more advanced technologies, and shouldbe able to learn and adapt to the changing requirements ofthe job.Those employed in this job group (security guards) contributedirectly to the customers’ perception of the security oftourism and hospitality establishments. Consequently, effectiveperformance of Safety and Security work is critical to thecustomer’s decision to become a return customer or torecommend the establishment to others. These individualsrepresent a critical and growing occupation in the tourism andhospitality industry. The guards perform traditional functionsof patrolling and protection in hotels and resorts, or on thepremises of clubs and bars or restaurants. Often the guardswork for security companies which provide the services tohospitality establishments. Guards also answer security-relatedcalls or respond to alarms and monitor security systems.Employers typically require a high school degree and providenecessary on the job training. Guards who carry firearms arecertified to do so and require additional training. Securitypersonnel in casinos have additional requirements and skillsrelated to the gaming business.Guards have opportunities to progress from relatively simplefunctions such as night patrol to more complex functions suchas detecting potential fraud on a gaming floor. However, therelatively low wage structure and barriers to entry in theIII. Key Workforce ChallengesIn New Jersey, employers report that they experience difficultyin attracting workers to the industry and experience evengreater difficulty in recruiting skilled, qualified entry-levelworkers. These labor and skills shortages are only anticipatedto deepen in the coming years. Of particular concern is theneed to attract and train new workers for Atlantic City’sgaming and hospitality industry, with the recent openingof the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa and the continuingexpansions of existing casinos such as Harrah’s and theTropicana expected to create huge demands for new laborin 2003 and 2004.Across the nation, projected job growth in the amusementand recreation services sector between 2000 and 2010 isanticipated to be 35 percent, compared to just 16 percent forall industries combined. Projected job growth for the lodgingsector is anticipated to be 13 percent over the same timeperiod, while the eating and drinking places sector is expectedto experience 18 percent job growth. 23Tourism and Hospitality Industry ReportUnderstanding Occupational and Skill Demand in New Jersey’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry 13


Tourism and Hospitality Industry ReportChallenge 1: Attracting and Recruiting Workers. As aresult of industry growth and difficulties in attracting newworkers (due to the perception that industry benefits andadvancement opportunities are poor), the tourism andhospitality industry is confronting a serious and continuingshortage of skilled workers.Perhaps the most severe labor shortages in the industry arefound in South Jersey where casinos and other hospitalityestablishments average 300 to 1,000 job openings at anygiven time. While the “shore” tourism trade is highly seasonal,casinos operate 7 days per week year round. It is anticipatedthat the casino industry alone will require more than 7,000new workers between 2002 and 2004 to meet both industryexpansion and openings due to turnover. 24 Other key industriesin the region (particularly health care and retail), are growingand compete with the tourism and hospitality industry for thesame workers.Challenge 2: Preparing Skilled, Qualified Entry-LevelWorkers. Employers report that new entrants into thetourism and hospitality industry lack the necessaryworkforce readiness, basic skills and cross-industrydemand skills.Because the tourism and hospitality industry is comprisedprimarily of service occupations, it is vital that employershave access to a pool of employees with a strong customerservice orientation, solid cross-industry demand skills, and thecommunication skills necessary to perform effectively on thejob. However, many employers feel that these qualities arestrongly lacking in their entry-level staff.Despite the large percentages of South Jerseyans employed inthe tourism and hospitality industry, employers conclude thatthe education of young people does not coincide with futureindustry needs. Some area leaders feel that children are notgiven adequate exposure to the opportunities within thetourism and hospitality industry while they are in theclassroom, and that they do not receive any education on thenature of the tourism industry and its importance to theregional economy. 25 Focus groups conducted by the Atlantic-Cape May WIB revealed that individuals in the SouthernNew Jersey region in a variety of age groups possessed littleknowledge of industry employment opportunities and are illprepared to join the tourism/hospitality workforce. 26IV.Current Efforts to Meet theChallengesAs the demand for workers in the tourism and hospitalityindustry increases, the industry must work to better attractand retain workers as well as enhance the skills of theirworkforce. The local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs),particularly the Atlantic-Cape May WIB, have begun intensiveresearch to better identify the key barriers to obtaining askilled workforce. In addition, the Atlantic-Cape May WIBcontinues to work to mobilize the key industry stakeholderstowards collaborative efforts for strengthening and betterpreparing the tourism and hospitality workforce.Strategies to Attract and Recruit WorkersIn order to inform the efforts to recruit and attract workers,the Atlantic Cape May WIB, funded by a US Department ofLabor Phase I Sectoral Initiative Grant, conducted twelvefocus groups with potential employees for the Atlantic Cityhospitality industry in six South Jersey counties between Julyof 2001 and July of 2002. 27 Focus group participants citedconcerns with available wages, the time and cost associatedwith transportation to Atlantic City, and negative perceptionsabout the industry as reasons they do not view employment inAtlantic City’s hospitality industry as desirable. 28Wage Satisfaction: Most participants of the Atlantic-CapeMay focus groups indicated that the wages for Atlantic Cityhospitality wages would have to start in the $12-$15 an hourrange to entice them to work in the industry.Transportation Issues: Every focus group raised the cost andtime associated with transportation to Atlantic City as a majorbarrier to industry employment. All felt that a wider and moreaffordable array of transportation options should be madeavailable. Some participants suggested that the casinos shouldprovide an express bus or shuttle for employees. Others feltthat a wage differential should be offered to those employeeswho commute farther distances into Atlantic City tocompensate for their commute.Negative Perceptions of the Industry: Many employers havedifficulty staffing tourism and hospitality positions becausethe industry is perceived negatively by local job seekers. Focusgroup participants highlighted some of the key components ofthe industry’s negative image:Atlantic City hospitality jobs are viewed as lacking injob security. Some participants feel that this isespecially true in the industry’s higher-level positions.Job seekers perceive advancement opportunities in theindustry to be heavily affected by favoritism and “whoyou know.”In Atlantic City, the physical work environment ofcasino-hotels is perceived by potential job seekers to beunsafe. In particular, the employee parking lots arecharacterized as lacking in sufficient lighting andsecurity staff.14 Ready for the Job:


Finally, many of the focus group participants notedthat industry positions are considered undesirablebecause they are perceived as requiring night andweekend shifts.Focus group participants were asked to list benefits or perksthat could entice them to seek employment in the AtlanticCity hospitality industry. Some of the items listed include 29 :reduction or elimination of employee premium formedical and dental benefits,wages starting at $12/hour (Senior participants listedwages starting at $9/hour but also wanted assistancewith paying for prescription medications),assignment of preferred shifts,transportation assistance (express shuttles orsubsidization for transportation costs),social work environment with coworkers in same agegroups (this was listed by young people, or newentrants into the workforce),tuition reimbursement,and on-the-job training opportunities.In addition to identifying ways to attract more workers to theindustry, industry stakeholders have also begun to target theirrecruitment efforts to the available labor pools. In 2002,Telemundo, one of the largest television stations for theSpanish-speaking population in the region, aired a series ofsegments on Atlantic Cape Community College training programsthat help place Spanish-speaking individuals into thetourism and hospitality industry. These segments aired in theNew York region, and peaked the interest of many potentialworkers, including many who had been displaced from theManhattan tourism and hospitality industry by the economicfallout of September 11th. More than four hundred viewerscalled the television station to get more information on industryopportunities. Quick to respond to the spiked interest intheir industry, Atlantic City employers partnered with theAtlantic Cape May WIB and Atlantic Cape Community College tohold an industry-wide job fair. Promotion for the event includedmailings, internet postings, radio ads, and strategic word ofmouth through contacting community agencies, other WIBs,and government agencies. The event was considered to be verysuccessful, resulting in many matches between employers andnew recruits. 30Strategies to Prepare Skilled, Qualified Entry LevelWorkersIndustry leaders in South Jersey are implementing a number ofpromising initiatives designed to better prepare entry-levelworkers with the necessary skills.In May of 2003, ten casino-hotels partnered with Atlantic CapeCommunity College and the State of New Jersey to develop astate-of-the-art technology laboratory at Caesars Casino for thetraining of workers. This laboratory was funded withCustomized Training grant funds from the New JerseyDepartment of Labor as well as matching funds and in-kinddonations from consortium partners. The consortium’sproject—South Jersey Hospitality Opportunities for PotentialEmployees (or South Jersey HOPE)—offers a career advancementprogram for 105 entry-level workers in the gamingindustry. In addition, the technology lab is available for 1,351Park Place employees for training in technology literacy as wellas for online course work with Atlantic Cape CommunityCollege and other educational institutions. Some of thetraining provided in the lab includes:an introduction to computers and e-learning,basic skills for front desk and hotel operations,food preparation and culinary, marketing, and cashiertraining,introduction to MS Office programs,introduction to proprietary software programs,and self paced skill building, including accentreduction, safety training and software systems. 31In addition to their involvement in the South Jersey HOPEproject, the Atlantic Cape Community College has sought toprepare a skilled tourism workforce through its various specializedprograms. Most notable among these are the Academy ofCulinary Arts and the Casino Career Institute. The Academy ofCulinary Arts offers an associate in applied science degree inboth culinary arts and food service management as well as acertificate program in baking/pastry specialization. The CasinoCareer Institute offers specialty training for gaming dealers,slot technicians, and surveillance employees. Both theAcademy of Culinary Arts and the Casino Career Instituteplace many of their graduates in Atlantic City hospitality andgaming employment.While the Atlantic-Cape Community College is providing skillstraining for the college-age population, the Eagle AcademyProject in Atlantic County seeks to prepare a targeted group ofhigh school students for future industry employment. Thisproject, a collaboration of hospitality and tourism employers(as well as other industry employers), local government, theAtlantic-Cape May Workforce Investment Board, and a veteransassociation, aims to provide an alternative educational settingfor at-risk high school students. General program goals include:increasing basic skills, workplace readiness skills, and professionaland technical skills of students, as well as increasing thelikelihood of high school completion of these students. TheEagle Academy, founded in 1999, currently has fifty enrolleeswho engage in a wide array of industry-related training activities.These activities may include: job shadowing in the hospitalityand tourism industry, casino-related training with Bally’sCorporation, or casino dealer training with the Tropicana Hoteland Casino. In addition, some students learn culinary and hospitalityskills by staffing and managing the Academy Café,which serves breakfast and lunch daily to community patrons.The Eagle Academy Project was recently awarded with a 2003Tourism and Hospitality Industry ReportUnderstanding Occupational and Skill Demand in New Jersey’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry 15


Tourism and Hospitality Industry ReportExemplary Partnership Program Award by the New JerseyAssociation of Partners in Education. 32The Atlantic-Cape May WIB, HERE Local 54, and the AtlanticCape Community College, along with the local One-Stop CareerCenter, and some employers, have undertaken a planningprocess to improve the labor conditions in the Atlantic Citygaming industry. The group, known as Atlantic City Partners,has outlined a sectoral model designed to better meet thelabor and skill needs of South Jersey’s tourism and hospitalityindustry. This model includes four primary components:conduct additional market research, launch a recruitmentcampaign, and offer both pre and post placement training.Outside of New Jersey, other states are implementing innovativestrategies to meet the workforce needs of their tourismand hospitality industries. In Maryland, the state seeks toenhance the skills of its tourism workforce through the provisionof a certificate program. The “Hospitality, Maryland Style”program (H.M.S) seeks to increase the communication andcustomer service skills of the state’s hospitality workers, whileenhancing their understanding and knowledge of the industry.Upon completion of this 20-hour program, graduates receivethe H.M.S. certificate. The state also offers an abbreviatedversion of this program; the four-hour “Maryland Smiles”seminar pursues similar program goals to that of “Hospitality,Maryland Style.”The State of Michigan is pursuing skills gains in its tourismworkforce through its provision of online training modules.The Michigan Tourism Virtual Training Academy (MTVTA) offersself paced, specialized tourism and hospitality skills trainingcourses. Available courses address such topics as overcomingchallenging situations, communicating effectively, developingservice expertise, enhancing leadership skills, and writing amarketing plan for tourism. Like the “Hospitality, MarylandStyle” program, the MTVTA offers a certificate of accomplishmentto successful course completers, which is recognized byindustry employers.V. RecommendationsThe tourism and hospitality industry is faced with two majorchallenges in meeting the current and future labor and skillneeds. First, many of the jobseekers who have the skills necessaryfor tourism and hospitality jobs have a low degree ofinterest in the industry. Research shows that among the targetpopulations to expand the labor pool, misconceptions aboutthe industry are common. Also, many of the potential entrantswho may be interested in taking jobs in the industry lack thenecessary qualifications for the jobs.1. Recommendations to Attract and RecruitWorkersRecruit Workers from Untapped Labor PoolsAttract Immigrants and Senior Citizens to the Industry inSouth Jersey: Employers in South Jersey tell us that they havebeen slow to embrace the immigrant labor pool. They stress,however, that they are a viable source of labor, particularly forlower-skilled, harder to fill positions, of which there is anabundance in the tourism and hospitality industry. Employerssuggest that the local One-Stop Career Centers could play arole in accessing these workers, perhaps through ESL classes,citizenship classes, and other strategies to integrate this laborpool into the workforce.Some senior citizens have expressed interest in the gamingindustry if they could be assured of part time, daytime shifts.Seniors may also be recruited by employer provision ofdesirable benefits, particularly prescription drug coverage.Offer Transportation Incentives: Employers offeringtransportation incentives can recruit a pool of unemployedand underemployed workers who would otherwise not considerthe industry for employment given their geographic distancefrom employers. Options include subsidization for transportation(either through reimbursement or wage differentials forthose employees commuting from further away) or provisionof alternative transportation options. These options include:organizing car pools, providing a shuttle bus, and by lobbyingfor increased means of public transportation.Improve the Working EnvironmentImprove the Working Environment: To increase the supply ofqualified new workers to the industry, employers should makeefforts to minimize the unattractive aspects of tourism andhospitality jobs that were identified in the Atlantic-Cape MayWIB focus groups. For example, casinos in Atlantic City shouldreview security concerns such as poor lighting in employeeparking facilities and inadequate staffing of security personnel.Increases in the perceived safety of the workplace couldentice some potential employees to the industry. Hospitalityemployers could also combat their image as antifamily byoffering some potential workers with guaranteed shiftassignments that will better allow them to balance their workand family obligations. 33 Finally, by creating clear careeradvancement opportunities for entry-level workers, employersmay help to attract new workers to careers in the industry.16 Ready for the Job:


2. Recommendations for Preparing Skilled,Qualified Entry-Level WorkersStrengthen Secondary EducationIncorporate Workplace Readiness and Cross-IndustryDemand Skills Needed in the Workplace into SchoolCurricula: Employers in this and other industries report thatmany entry-level workers lack workplace readiness skills andcross-industry demand skills that are necessary to succeed innearly all jobs in the twenty-first century world of work. Highschools should work to incorporate these key skills into thecurriculum. Since cross-industry demand skills, such as teamwork/communicationand problem solving/criticalthinking, can be applied in any discipline, these skills can beincorporated into existing curricula.Workplace readiness skills should also be integrated into thehigh school experience as well. While still in its infancy, theSchoolCounts! Program, in place in several counties in NewJersey and developed by the Business Coalition for EducationExcellence at the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, may be apromising approach. This program rewards students by issuingan employer-recognized certificate to students for promisingbehavior such as consistently high attendance rates, aboveaverage academic performance, finishing high school on timeand taking initiative by enrolling in extra courses. Localemployers enrolled in the program agree to accept theSchoolCounts! Certificate as evidence of workforcepreparedness.Continue and Support Existing Industry Efforts: AtlanticCity employers have developed a robust in-house program andpartnership with the local college to enhance the skills forentry-level and other incumbent workers through their stateof-the-arttechnology laboratory. Employers should continue tomake these training resources and opportunities available totheir workers to keep them competitive. Educators, workforcedevelopment professionals and policy makers should workclosely to employers to support and help coordinate this andother industry efforts, such as the Eagle Academy Project.Atlantic City Partners, in conjunction with the local WIB andlocal 54 of the Union of Restaurants and Hotel Workers hasproposed a model for training entry-level workers to fill “backof the house” jobs. The model asks employers to provide fivecents per employee hour worked for training costs. The trainingfund, to be administered by the Partnership, would bespent to renovate a local firehouse and convert it into a trainingcenter. Since this agreement requires negotiation via theunion contracts, the first casino to consider the plan is theBorgata, which is currently in the process of ratifying theircontract.Figure 5.1:Recommendations by StakeholderState Government Workforce Secondary Post Employers/ UnionsInvestment Education Secondary AssociationsBoardsEducationRecommendations to Prepare Skilled, Qualified Entry-Level WorkersStrengthen Secondary EducationIncorporate Workplace Readiness and Cross- x xIndustry Demand Skills Needed in theWorkplace into School CurriculumsContinue and Support Existing Industry Efforts x x x x x xRecommendations to Attract and Recruit WorkersRecruit Workers from Untapped Labor PoolsAttract Immigrants and Senior Citizens to the x x x xIndustry in South JerseyOffer Transportation IncentivesImprove the Working EnvironmentImprove the Working Environment x xxTourism and Hospitality Industry ReportUnderstanding Occupational and Skill Demand in New Jersey’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry 17


VI. ConclusionWhile revenues may be strong, the ability of New Jersey’stourism and hospitality employers to meet workforcedemands is strained. The industry is facing two key workforcechallenges, including difficulties attracting and recruitingworkers to the industry as well as hiring the prepared, skilledentry-level workers they need. Employers report that theyfind it difficult to compete with other regional industries whentrying to attract potential employees, due to the perceptionthat industry wages, advancement opportunities, and workingconditions are less desirable than those offered by otherindustries.Employers are critical of the workforce preparedness of today’syounger workers and cite a lack of basic math and literacyskills and unfamiliarity with expected workplace behavior(punctuality, responsibility, a strong work ethic) as seriousimpediments to finding enough qualified employees. Giventhat the tourism and hospitality industry is and is expectedto remain a key employer of South Jerseyans, employers aredisappointed that young people today are not typicallyprovided with any background knowledge of the industry orbasic occupational preparation while in school.Employers in the tourism and hospitality industry are beginningto engage in activities to raise the profile of the industryand increase the supply of skilled workers. The industryshould continue and expand upon these efforts, includingrecruiting from untapped labor pools such as older workers andimmigrants, creating career advancement opportunities, andimproving the working environment. In addition, industrystakeholders should continue to work with county colleges andother educators to develop and advance needed curriculum anddegree and certificate programs. Finally, there is a strong needto incorporate workplace readiness and the cross-industrydemand skills needed in the workplace into school curricula.Tourism and Hospitality Industry Report18 Ready for the Job:


5 New Jersey Department of Labor. Occupational EmploymentStatistics Wage Survey: 2003 Edition. January 2003.6 Please see Appendix B for further detail on the methodologiesemployed by the Atlantic Cape May WIB for their research.7 Office of the Governor, State of New Jersey. “McGreevey Kicks OffSummer Tourism Advertising Campaign.” Press Releases. 19 May2003. 8 Longwoods International. Travel and Tourism in New Jersey: AReport on the 2001 Travel Year. May 2002.9 Seneca, Joseph J. NJ Mid Year Review and Economic Outlook for2002-2003. New Jersey Council of Economic Advisors.10 Chebium, Raju. “Tourism Industry Optimistic.” Courier PostOnline: South Jersey Business. 20 April 2003. 11 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. “Eating andDrinking Places.” Career Guide to Industries: 2002-2003 Edition.Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. “Hotels andOther Lodging Places.” Career Guide to Industries: 2002-2003 Edition.Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. “Amusementand Recreation Services.” Career Guide to Industries: 2002-2003Edition. < http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs031.htm >12 Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce.“Industry Accounts Data. Gross Domestic Product by Industry.”28 October 2002. 13 New Jersey Department of Labor. “Gross State Product for NewJersey by Industry, 1977-2001 (Millions of Current Dollars).” 7 July2003. 14 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Career Guideto Industries: 2002-2003 Edition. 15 This figure reflects earnings of non-supervisory workers.16 New Jersey Department of Labor. Occupational EmploymentStatistics Wage Survey: 2003 Edition. January 2003.17 Ibid.18 New Jersey Department of Labor. “Estimated and ProjectedEmployment by Industry, 2000-2010.” November 2002.19 New Jersey Department of Labor. Occupational EmploymentProjections, 2000-2010.http://www.wnjpin.net/OneStopCareerCenter/LaborMarketInformation/lmi04/state/index.html#occ20 New Jersey Department of Labor. New Jersey OccupationalEmployment Wage Statistics Survey, January 2003.http://www.wnjpin.net/OneStopCareerCenter/LaborMarketInformation/lmi23/TOC001.htm21 Core competencies are a cluster of skills, knowledge, and abilitiesa worker needs to master to perform this job.22 Staff. “Cornell Survey Identifies Management Survival Skills.”Hotel and Motel Magazine. 22 March 2002.23 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Career Guideto Industries: 2002-2003 Edition. 24 Atlantic Cape May Workforce Investment Board. Atlantic CityPartners: A Phase I Sectoral Strategic Plan for Workforce Developmentin the Atlantic City NJ Hospitality Industry. Funded by the USDepartment of Labor. July 2002.25 New Jersey Legislature. Public Hearing before Assembly Tourismand Gaming Committee. “Testimony from South Jersey businesses onthe status of the tourism industry in South Jersey.” 1 August 2002.26 Atlantic Cape May Workforce Investment Board. Atlantic CityPartners: A Phase I Sectoral Strategic Plan for Workforce Developmentin the Atlantic City NJ Hospitality Industry. Funded by the USDepartment of Labor. July 2002.27 This report has relied heavily on the research conducted by theAtlantic Cape May WIB. For more detail on the methodologiesemployed by the Atlantic Cape May Workforce Investment Board fortheir study, see Appendix A.28 Atlantic Cape May Workforce Investment Board. Atlantic CityPartners: A Phase I Sectoral Strategic Plan for Workforce Developmentin the Atlantic City NJ Hospitality Industry. Funded by the USDepartment of Labor. July 2002.29 Atlantic Cape May Workforce Investment Board. Atlantic CityPartners: A Phase I Sectoral Strategic Plan for Workforce Developmentin the Atlantic City NJ Hospitality Industry. Funded by the USDepartment of Labor. July 2002.30 Atlantic Cape May Workforce Investment Board. Atlantic CityPartners: A Phase I Sectoral Strategic Plan for Workforce Developmentin the Atlantic City NJ Hospitality Industry. Funded by the USDepartment of Labor. July 2002.31 Staff. “ACCC, Casino, Government Collaboration Opens TechnologyLaboratory.” Park Place. 9 May 2003.32 New Jersey Association of Partners in Education. “ExemplaryPartnership Program Award: Eagle Academy.” 2003.33 Atlantic Cape May Workforce Investment Board. Atlantic CityPartners: A Phase I Sectoral Strategic Plan for Workforce Developmentin the Atlantic City NJ Hospitality Industry. Funded by the USDepartment of Labor. July 2002.Tourism and Hospitality Industry ReportUnderstanding Occupational and Skill Demand in New Jersey’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry 19


Appendix A:MethodologyMethodology for Industry ReportsThe Workforce Investment Boards of Bergen, Cumberland/Salem, Hudson, Mercer and Passaic Counties, in partnership with the NewJersey State Employment and Training Commission, selected the industries for study based on their prevalence in the state andregional economies, their current employment rate, and their potential for job creation.The Heldrich Center, with input from each WIB, conducted a thorough literature search, or “knowledge inventory,” for each industry.The Heldrich Center compiled background research using the Internet and published research reports on the current and emergingnational and state trends, and focused on emerging trends and growth projections in the selected industries. The knowledgeinventory formed the basis of the industry reports.The Heldrich Center utilized New Jersey Department of Labor Labor Market Information (LMI) data to create a list of occupationsfor each industry. The primary criterion was gross openings and expected growth. The secondary criterion was occupations with ashortage of qualified workers and those that displayed a diversity of income and educational levels. Using these occupational lists,the Heldrich Center, in conjunction with the Atlantic-Cape May Workforce Investment Board, selected ten key occupations for indepthanalysis. For each of these occupations, tasks, skills, and educational requirements were identified from already establishedO*Net material. Labor gaps, skill gaps, and regional strategies to address these problems were identified through the literaturereview, as well as through interviews that were conducted with industry leaders and employers. Educators in the southern region,principally from Atlantic Cape Community College, have also been consulted regarding training issues and initiatives.Much of the research relied upon in this report was conducted by the Atlantic Cape May Workforce Investment Board. The AtlanticCape May WIB, funded by a US Department of Labor Phase I Sectoral Initiative Grant, undertook a labor market review and analysis,and produced an environmental scan of trends impacting the Atlantic City hospitality industry. They also conducted twelve focusgroups with potential employees for the Atlantic City hospitality industry in six South Jersey counties between July of 2001 andJuly of 2002, as well as focus groups with human resource managers in the industry. Their research has sought to establish a commitmentfrom Atlantic City employers to workforce issues, create a wide collaboration of industry partners called Atlantic CityPartners, and develop an action plan to address the major workforce issues faced by the Atlantic City tourism/hospitality industry. 34Tourism and Hospitality Industry Report34Atlantic Cape May Workforce Investment Board. Atlantic City Partners: A Phase I Sectoral Strategic Plan for Workforce Development in theAtlantic City NJ Hospitality Industry. Funded by the US Department of Labor. July 2002.20 Ready for the Job:


1. GAMING SUPERVISORSAppendix B:Profile of Selected Occupations4. HOTEL, MOTEL, AND RESORT DESK CLERKSGaming supervisors are responsible for the oversight of gaming operationsand personnel. They usually circulate on the gaming floor at acasino or similar establishment, ensuring the smooth running of thecasino’s operations. They dictate and implement personnel shiftschedules, as well as planning and organizing events for guests.Gaming supervisors also interact heavily with the casino’s patrons,often explaining or interpreting rules of games or conduct. They areoften used in conjunction with the casino’s security staff to guardagainst cheating and fraud. They may also serve as the first line forthe receipt of complaints and problems.Gaming supervisors must have excellent conflict resolution skills.Whether managing employees or interacting with customers, gamingsupervisors are required to be superb communicators, with the abilityto sense and correct problems. They should have basic familiaritywith math, and should have good number facility; they are oftencalled on to handle or compute large sums of money. Supervisorsshould be very observant, and be effective monitors. Employees inthis occupation are expected to have a high school diploma or GED.Employers often prefer these individuals to have an associate’sdegree.2. FOOD SERVICE MANAGERSFood service managers work in restaurants, hotels, and other establishmentsthat serve food. They plan and direct much of the organization’soperation, responsible for planning menus, estimating consumption,and placing and reviewing supply orders. Food servicemanagers are also often called on to monitor budget and payrollinformation. They set health and nutritional standards, and ensurecompliance with outside health and safety regulations. They’re alsoresponsible for fielding complaints and suggestions from customers.Food service managers should have intricate knowledge of the rulesand regulations governing the food service industry. They shouldhave basic skills in economics and accounting, as well as solid familiaritywith math. They should be excellent problem solvers, with afocus on critical thinking. Employees in this occupation should havesolid judgment, and excellent interpersonal skills. Employers usuallyrequire a bachelor’s degree for this job.3. FIRST-LINE SUPERVISORS/MANAGERS OF FOODPREPARATION AND SERVING WORKERSFirst-line supervisors engage in direct supervision of workers preparingand serving food. They devise and implement work schedules,inspect workers and facilities, and recommend improvements. Firstlinesupervisors are often responsible for the hiring and firing of newpreparation employees. Additionally, they’re often responsible for thetraining of new employees. They sometimes consult with other personnelto determine menus and serving arrangements.First-line supervisors should be good communicators. They must beeffective negotiators who are able to interact equally well with laborand management. They’re often required to be observant, and shoulddemonstrate an excellent attention to detail. Management ofresources is a crucial part of their responsibility, so this should be afocus. First-line supervisors should also be good educators, able totrain and instruct the staff in new techniques or concepts.Increasingly, knowledge of a second language is preferred. Employeesin this occupation are typically required to have an associate’sdegree or extensive on-the-job experience.Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks are responsible for registeringguests, tracking and assigning rooms, and processing payments.They also are responsible for taking and delivering messages,answering guest inquiries, and making and confirming reservations.The performance of these frontline workers is critical to a lodgingestablishment’s image as these are the individuals that guests aremost likely to interact with in a direct and daily manner.Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks must be skilled communicatorsand have the ability to understand and address guests’ needs quicklyand satisfactorily. Coordination skills are key to successful performancein this job since clerks must communicate guest needs acrossvarious departments of the lodging establishment (such as the hotelmanagement, restaurant, maintenance and cleaning, or retail areas).Because these individuals process payments, clerks should also possessstrong number facility. Employers typically require a highschool degree or equivalent for employment in these positions.Employers are increasingly seeking computer familiarity and an abilityto learn new technology in their new hires for these positions.This is because these positions now often require the use of databasemanagement software and other customized applications.Typical applications include tracking rooms and projecting vacancies.5. WAITERS AND WAITRESSESWaiters and waitresses are responsible for taking food and beverageorders, relaying orders to food preparation staff and/or bar, andserving these items to restaurant patrons. They are also responsiblefor preparing the patron’s bill and making change. They must alsoanticipate and respond to patron needs through such tasks asmonitoring tables and answering questions about the menu or thefacility.Waiters and waitresses must possess excellent communication skills,particularly listening skills. They should also have a strong serviceorientation and an ability to be aware of and understand the needsof patrons. Waiters and waitresses are a key component of thepatron’s experience and contribute greatly to their desire to returnto the establishment or recommend it to others. Most employers donot have a minimum education requirement for this position.However, prior experience is typically necessary for waiters andwaitresses seeking employment at some of the higher-end diningestablishments.6. GAMING DEALERSGaming dealers operate casino games for patrons. Typical tasksinclude: dispensing cards, operating game equipment, and handlingbets. These individuals also participate in the game on behalf ofthe employer and explain game rules to patrons.Gaming dealers must possess strong knowledge of all game and casinorules and be able to communicate them effectively to patronswhere needed. Because dealers calculate and pay out winnings, theyshould be able to perform basic math functions both quickly andaccurately. It is also important that gaming dealers possess strongmonitoring skills. Typically, employers require new hires to have ahigh school degree or equivalent and provide in-house training,though specialty training from a vocational program is considereddesirable among employers.Tourism and Hospitality Industry ReportUnderstanding Occupational and Skill Demand in New Jersey’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry 21


7. AMUSEMENT AND RECREATION ATTENDANTSAmusement and recreation attendants work directly with customerson a daily basis. These individuals perform a wide array of tasksthat may include operating a ride or concession stand or maintainingor distributing equipment at a recreation facility.Amusement and recreation attendants should possess excellent coordinationskills, as they seek to meet the needs of numerous customers,often at the same time. They should also be strong communicators,both with customers and their fellow colleagues. Other keyskills sought by employers include: commitment to quality, problemsolving skills, and the ability to remain organized and calm underpressure. English proficiency is essential for successful performancein this job. Employers do not typically have a minimum educationrequirement for these positions though a high school degree orequivalent is preferred.8. SECURITY GUARDSSecurity guards are direct contributors to the customers’ perceptionof the safety of an area or establishment. Consequently, effectiveperformance of this job is critical to the customer’s decision tobecome a return customer or to recommend the establishment toothers. In the tourism and hospitality industry, security guards performtraditional functions of patrolling and protection in hotels andresorts, clubs, bars and restaurants, and other establishments.Guards also answer security-related calls, respond to alarms, andmonitor security systems.9. FOOD PREPARATION WORKERSFood preparation workers prepare food for their supervising chefs.Typical tasks include: cleaning and cutting meat and produce, measuringneeded ingredients, moving ingredients from storage area topreparation area, and distributing food to wait staff.Key skills for this occupation include an attention to detail and theability to follow directions precisely. Knowledge of the materialsand ingredients they are working with is also important. There areno educational requirements for this occupation, though employerstypically prefer that workers have a high school degree orequivalent.10. MAIDS AND HOUSEKEEPING CLEANERSMaids and housekeeping cleaners work to insure the cleanliness andcomfort of a hotel room, as well as all other areas of the hotel orhospitality establishment. Typical tasks include cleaning floors,changing linens, and removing garbage.These jobs require some customer contact. Consequently, strongcommunication skills and a service orientation are considered desirableamong employers. Maids and housekeeping cleaners must beadept at meeting employer standards, plus understanding customers’needs and enhancing customer satisfaction. In addition, maids andhousekeeping cleaners must be knowledgeable in selecting andmaintaining their occupational equipment. Typically a high schooldegree or equivalent and on-the-job training is required.Needed skills include: social perceptiveness, critical thinking, decision-making,and knowledge of law enforcement and local regulations.In a resort or casino location, the guards may have considerableinteraction with patrons, requiring problem sensitivity andstrong interpersonal skills. At more advanced levels of this position,the skills of pattern recognition, job-related communications andmultitasking, plus the ability to remain focused under pressure are ata premium. Typically, a minimum of a high school degree and trainingis required. Guards who carry firearms are certified to do so andrequire additional training.Guards are increasingly involved in plans to respond in the event ofterrorist or other security threats. The security systems that monitorpremises for threats are becoming more complex, requiring greatertechnology skills for these positions. Individuals employed in thisposition should be able to learn and adapt to new technologies andthe changing requirements of the job.Tourism and Hospitality Industry Report22 Ready for the Job:

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