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Hospitality academy gets federal funding

November 8, 2010 |  2:35 pm

  Hospitality Academy 004 A hotel training academy that was launched last year received federal funding to continue operating over the next two years, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Monday.

The Hospitality Training Academy, a collaboration between hotels, labor unions and community groups, was launched last year to give basic training for workers interested in jobs in the hospitality industry, one of Southern California's largest industries.

The academy also provides career-advancement training for employees already in hotels.

The academy was funded last year by donations from Los Angeles area hotels and city grants. During the first year, 245 workers were trained in the academy and 33 landed new jobs, including Marcus Clark, 36, who was unemployed when he entered the program. Clark, an Inglewood resident who formerly worked at a teleconference call center, is now a front desk supervisor at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa.

"I started out looking for a job and ended up on a career path," Clark said during a news conference to announce the new funding for the program.

Villaraigosa said the program received a federal grant of $500,000 this year to help pay for the training of about 350 workers over the next two years.

The academy will soon be accepting applications for 75 people to begin training in January. Interested candidates should visit the website for details.

-- Hugo Martin

Photo: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announces the new funding, standing next to academy graduate Marcus Clark. Credit: Los Angeles Times