The Board of County Commissioners passed legislation to allocate $3 million of the CARES Act funds for a Hotel Worker Relief Grant Program
District 5 Commissioner Eileen Higgins has sponsored legislation that will use $3 million of the CARES Act funds to support hotel workers by creating the Hotel Worker Relief Grant Program. The program will provide financial relief and professional support to employees who have been furloughed or lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
According to the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor Bureau (GMCVB), the hotel industry is a leading sector of employment in Miami-Dade County. In 2019, 147,000 jobs were in the travel and hospitality industry, totaling a $17 billion impact on the economy that year.
Because of this, Commissioner Higgins teamed up with Miami-Dade College and Greater Miami and Beaches Hotel Association (GMBHA) to develop the Hotel Worker Relief Program. The program will provide eligible employees with grants of $1,000-$2,500 if they complete a hotel training workshop. The workshop will provide them with employment skills training, opportunities for advancement in the hotel industry and exposure to other careers.
Commissioner Higgins believes providing workers with professional development opportunities is as important as helping them financially because it allows them to continue working on their future growth.
“Not only have these employees lost income, health care coverage, and all sense of financial stability, but their professionally growth has completely come to a standstill,” said Commissioner Eileen Higgins.
Miami-Dade College will be administering the grants and the training program, playing a part in the program that Executive Vice President and Provost of the college, Lenore Rodicio, believes fits right into the school’s mission.
“Miami Dade College prides itself on changing lives through accessible, high-quality experiences, and that’s what we intend to provide for these individuals in need,”.Lenore Rodicio
President and CEO of GMBHA Wendy Kallergis seconds this pride, adding a thank you to the County Commissioners for valuing the stability of hotel workers.
“We appreciate the County Commission for taking a step forward in supporting the people who make Miami’s phenomenal tourism industry what it is,”.Wendy Kallergis