AH&LA reacts to President Trump’s State of the Union address

The American Hotel & Lodging Association released a statement on Feb. 4 following President Trump’s State of the Union address. In it, AH&LA President/CEO Chip Rogers praised the president for his support of job-training and workforce-development programs and encouraged him to work with Congress on immigration solutions that increase access to a legal workforce.

“[During his speech], President Trump laid out his agenda to continue growing America’s economy, seek bipartisan solutions for immigration reform and strengthen our national security,” said Rogers. “Hotels have been a key driver of economic growth, supporting one in 25 jobs and adding $660 billion to U.S. [gross domestic product].”

Rogers continued: “We commend the President for his commitment to job-training and workforce-development programs. In the past two years, the AHLA Foundation has changed more than 40,000 lives through apprenticeships, job-training programs and scholarships. The President pledged to make sure that every American has the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. Hoteliers are proud to be a part of making so many dreams come true, and we look forward to working with the administration and Congress to further advance these programs and offer opportunity for all who seek it.

“With historically low unemployment, it is increasingly difficult for hotels to fill service positions and continue providing world-class service to our guests. The domestic labor market alone cannot meet our workforce needs, and that’s why we encourage the President and Congress to work together on immigration solutions that increase access to a legal workforce while maintaining our national security.

“The President also noted that in the last three years, [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] has arrested more than 5,000 human traffickers, and he has signed nine pieces of legislation to stamp out human trafficking, domestically and around the globe. AHLA’s No Room for Trafficking campaign underscores our industry’s leadership to train every employee to spot and help stop trafficking. Eradicating human trafficking takes coordination across all levels, and we look forward to working with the administration on this shared commitment.

“Finally, we appreciate the President’s focus on fighting the addiction crisis in America. Among the guests at tonight’s speech is Shatterproof founder Gary Mendell, a former hotelier whose son lost his life to addiction. We share their desire to help end the stigma and suffering of those affected by addiction and prevent and treat this disease.”