When 8th graders are asked the question "what does the hospitality and tourism field mean to you?," most will initially think of amusement parks, visiting zoos, site seeing historic places, traversing a state park or exploring underground caves. Many students would not think of all that the field has to offer such as: the performing arts, museums, sports and entertainment.
Hospitality goes far beyond the idea of a city welcoming tourists and travelers. It is the hotel experience, special events happening in the city, dining at local restaurants and every point of entry encounter, beginning at the airport or bus station. The jobs involved in making these experiences happen will be an option to students in the future and should be considered when they begin to envision a career path beyond 8th grade.
With the rapid growth of Indianapolis, there will be a substantial need for employees across all industries to support the demands of the future workforce. JA JobSpark is instrumental in engaging the next generation of leaders with hands-on career learning experiences that will align with the high demand jobs in our city’s near future. According to Visit Indy, Indianapolis had 80,600 employees in the Hospitality and Tourism industry in 2016. It is estimated that in 2025, there will be 96,000 jobs, an increase of almost 16,000 open positions in less than 10 years! Future plans for the city consist of the development of the GM Stamping Plant site, the White River Master Plan, Air service improvements, a connected trail system, hotel development and neighborhood programs. The future opportunities for every business and citizen in the community should "spark" excitement as our city will only continue to thrive, driving the demand for a future workforce that is prepared.
Why did you want to be part of JA JobSpark? "As a Marriott employee, I am fully aware of the needs that our city is going to have. Each hotel can employ up to 200 people in positions across all industries. I enjoy being a part of JA JobSpark because I get to directly make an impact on the future of my industry. Plus, I’m able to engage other industries and learn more about the needs of our city and what makes Indianapolis excel. Specifically, in the Hospitality and Tourism cluster of JA JobSpark, there are leaders supporting the cause from museums, sports and culinary to the airlines and each corner of the performing arts."
Bryan Schmidt is business development director of Marriott East.