Workforce Development

Workforce Development in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry

The tourism industry is the third largest employer in Buncombe County, and a significant driver of the local economy. One-in-seven jobs in the area are supported by the tourism industry – that’s 24,856! Without tourism, the unemployment rate would be 15.9 percent.

In 2016, the Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau convened a Workforce Development Committee to focus on the recruitment and retention of hospitality industry employees in Buncombe County and surrounding counties including Madison, Transylvania, and Henderson.

The committee has established a working relationship with ten local workforce development service providers. Through the committee’s work with the Mountain Area Workforce Development Board and its Career Pathways model, a $30,000 Planning Grant and a $150,000 Implementation Grant have been awarded for the four-county partnership focused on workforce development in the Hospitality & Tourism Industry.