Industry Recovery Panel Perspectives: Skills for an Inclusive Retail & Hospitality Recovery

By Rachel Unruh, June 23, 2021

The pandemic may have hit nearly every industry, but it pummeled retail and hospitality. The leisure and hospitality industry accounts for nearly 40 percent of jobs lost over the last year. This is triple the job loss of the second hardest hit industry. Vaccinations have brought eased restrictions and a return of some jobs in these industries. Many of these jobs require new skills due to the acceleration of technology over the last year. Career pathways within these industries still exist, making upskilling opportunities essential. But some jobs will never return, and millions of workers will need support to train for a new career, including in industries targeted by federal job creation efforts like infrastructure, manufacturing, and healthcare.

National Skills Coalition (NSC) and Business Leaders United (BLU) convened a Retail and Hospitality Industry Recovery Panel of leading experts working in local communities to learn what an effective, equitable recovery plan for retail and hospitality needs to include. Panelists represent business, labor, education and training organizations, and others working in or with the retail and hospitality industries.

Key recommendations in this brief offered by the Panel to President Biden and Congress include:

  • Prioritize workforce investments and equity in federal recovery efforts 
  • Ensure retail and hospitality workers and businesses can harness new technologies 
  • Support transparent, equitable, high quality career pathways within and across industries 
  • Protect service sector payrolls as businesses re-open and transition workers from part- to full-time 
  • Invest in local industry partnerships to develop local workforce solutions 

NSC and BLU’s four Industry Recovery Panels have been sharing their collective recommendations with Congressional Leadership and Administration officials. Visit our Industry Recovery Panels landing page to learn more about each panel.