The Los Angeles Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism, Culinary, and Fashion Project, known as the LA RHT+ Initiative, is a Strong Workforce Regional Project funded by the Chancellor’s Office. The initiative is co-led by East LA College and LA Trade Technical-College and coordinated by the Workforce Innovation Labs. With the partnership of thirteen regional colleges, this innovative and short-term training opportunity provides entry-level management training and networking opportunities for participants. The primary objective of this regional project is to develop training programs for individuals affected by displacement and underemployment and incumbent workers seeking opportunities in these industries. The program aims to provide a pipeline of skilled RHT+ managerial candidates and support their upward social and economic mobility while enhancing their career paths.   

The recent LA RHT+ Summit, held aboard the majestic Queen Mary on December 1, 2023, emerged as a resounding success and marked the culmination of Phase 1 of the LA RHT+ initiative, which received funding from the Strong Workforce Program. The convening welcomed over 75 participants, including representatives from the thirteen participating colleges and industry leaders from the Retail, Hospitality, Tourism, Culinary, and Fashion sectors, fostering a dynamic platform for visionary collaboration. 

Throughout the summit, there were sector-specific conversations addressing labor gaps, the development of curriculum, and information about the new certification program being designed to empower the future workforce. The keynote address by Mr. Jose Osuna left a lasting impact, highlighting the transformative potential when educational institutions partner seamlessly with industries. Mr. Osuna’s address resonated deeply with attendees, spotlighting the profound influence of this collaboration on individuals’ lives.  

Acknowledgments were given to Kenda Madrid of East LA College and Dr. Marcia Wilson of Los Angeles Trade Technical-College, the driving forces behind the LA RHT+ initiative, and the project management team, Workforce Innovations Lab, whose foresight and dedication made this event a resounding success. The Workforce Innovation Lab is a consulting firm and project management company at the forefront of workforce development. Kendra Madrid and Dr. Wilson are partners of the California Community College system and voting members of the Los Angeles Regional Consortium LA Workforce Council alongside the LA 19 Career Education Deans, workforce directors, and other leaders. 

The LA RHT+ Summit undeniably showcased the power of collaboration, igniting discussions poised to shape the future trajectory of Retail, Hospitality, Tourism, Culinary, and Fashion industries in the region.