Washington state’s peak tourism season is right around the corner, and Gov. Jay Inslee is showcasing career opportunities in the hospitality industry by declaring May Careers in Hospitality Month.

“The hospitality industry has opportunities at every level — providing entry level positions, lifelong careers, second chances, and career-connected learning skills that transfer to other industries,” Inslee said in his proclamation.

To recognize the governor’s declaration, the Employment Security Department (ESD), Washington Hospitality Association Education Foundation, WorkSource job centers, and community-based organizations and schools are hosting a variety of hospitality celebrations and hiring events across the state.

The hospitality industry is experiencing an industry-wide labor shortage that’s only getting worse, according to data from the Washington Hospitality Association. Hotels and restaurants are especially looking to hire people for management positions that carry salaries as high as $60,000 and $70,000 per year, according to a press release from the Washington Hospitality Association Education Foundation.

“Nearly half of all Americans have worked in the hospitality industry at some point in their lives — including me,” said ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine in a prepared statement. “I’m proud ESD and our partners in the WorkSource system can assist this industry and others in finding and growing talent in our state — and I encourage jobseekers to check out opportunities in this industry at the entry level and beyond.”

People can learn more about working in the hospitality industry at one of the following statewide hiring events this month:

  • May 10, 2-4 p.m., at Everett Station, 3201 Smith Ave., Everett
  • May 15, 1-4 p.m., at WorkSource Skagit, 2005 E. College Way, Mt. Vernon
  • May 20, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at WorkSource Downtown Seattle, 2024 3rd Ave., Seattle
  • May 22, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at Columbia Basin College (Career and Technical Education Building), 2600 N. 20th Ave., Pasco
  • May 29, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Student hospitality careers showcase at Best Western Icicle Inn, 505 US-2, Leavenworth
  • May 29, 1-4 p.m., at WorkSource Yakima, 1205 Ahtanum Ridge Dr., Union Gap
  • May 31, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Transit-Community Center, S. 601 W. Franklin St., Shelton

Hospitality employers looking for workers can post job openings, and workers can read job listings, on WorkSource’s website. Washington state employers can post hospitality jobs for free and take advantage of WorkSource’s partnerships with LinkedIn and Monster.com.

“I’m really proud of the results of Hospitality Months 2017 and 2018, and our partnership with the Employment Security Department,” said Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association, in a prepared statement. “At our industry’s time of need, we’re taking ownership of our challenges and paving a way forward to a brighter future for hospitality. We want everyone to know hospitality provides leadership and ownership opportunities, and we take people to $60,000 and beyond. Come join us.”