In attempts to fight and overcome the clear underrepresentation in its tourism industry the city of Columbus has partnered with several local organizations to pilot their new Diversity Apprenticeship Program. The program will be curated towards closing the racial equity gap within Central Ohio and will help local participants find job opportunities in the area.
In 2020, nearly 28% of Columbus hospitality employees identified as Black, Asian American, or Hispanic, while 73% identified as white, according to a study by Tourism Economics.According to Experience Columbus officials, the DAP’s formation comes in response to the stark changes in the industry and society over the past year or more and speaks to the city’s aggressiveness in this area. “Our community partners are as passionate about this initiative as we are, and as a result, we will be providing the most robust diversity apprenticeship program in the country, with the most apprenticeship opportunities and highest number of industry partners,” explained Shannon Jones, director of diversity, equity and inclusion for Experience Columbus.”
After students reach the completion of their apprenticeships program participants will be offered full-time jobs including manager level positions. Apprentices will be able to choose from a variety of occupation sections including marketing, administration, guest services, sales, finance, and event planning.