NEW YORK—The hospitality industry has been devastated by COVID-19, with 7.7 million jobs lost and 47 percent of hospitality professionals laid off. A new initiative called Project Save Hospitality seeks to shine a light on this hardworking, talented workforce, and show HR professionals and recruiters just how easily their skills can transfer over to other industries.
Project Save Hospitality was founded by Melissa DelBuono and Kingsley Egbuchunam, who were laid off from their jobs in the hotel industry and decided to come together to help their colleagues. They realized that many of their peers will not have jobs to return to, and those who are fortunate enough to retain their jobs will likely do so at a lower salary. This is especially true in New York City, a tourist and financial hub where over 500 hotels and countless restaurants are closed due to the pandemic. A full recovery is years away.
As DelBuono and Egbuchunam started talking to employers outside of hospitality, it became clear that they were unaware of the many skills hospitality workers have and how easily those skills transfer to other careers. Project Save Hospitality’s goal is to foster professional development, which includes resume-writing assistance, job coaching and the execution of a virtual career fair in conjunction with Brazen, the job fair platform. The founders said they will also focus on the industry’s diversity, with a commitment to achieving equality in the job market for the LGBTQ+ community, all races and genders, and underrepresented/underserved minorities. “Project Save Hospitality will bring light to a diverse and talented community that is typically passed over,” said Melissa DelBuono, PSH founder & CEO. “The career creativity, work ethic, team spirit and brilliance that this workforce can provide, can make a huge difference and create value in so many other industries.”
Specialist in Virtual Events
The virtual career fair is being hosted by Brazen, a cutting-edge company that builds virtual events. “Project Save Hospitality’s mission to save jobs, especially for the disproportionate number of minorities in the hospitality industry, aligns with Brazen’s goal to provide career conversations and resources to this underrepresented and underserved group as part of the Brazen Opportunity Fund,” said Joe Matar, Brazen’s Vice President of Marketing. “This group was severely impacted by COVID-19 and we are honored to partner with them to connect those job seekers with employers in other industries through Brazen’s virtual career fair platform. There is no better time than now to help those struggling with employment as a result of the ongoing pandemic.”
Project Save Hospitality co-founder Kingsley Egbuchunam agrees: “The hospitality industry has always provided entertainment, comfort, refuge and normalcy for its clientele, bringing professionalism, empathy and enthusiasm to the job regardless of circumstances. It is important that we do not turn our back on those who made us feel special during their time of need.”
Project Save Hospitality will be holding their Virtual Career on January 28, 2021. Companies who would like to participate can reach out via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Project Save Hospitality, to donate, help publicize the organization’s work, or participate in the job fair, visit https://projectsavehospitality.org or go to Facebook and LinkedIn.