In a partnership unique in the country, the Pennsylvania Convention Center works with its convention partners to build and expand training programs in safety, customer service, technical skills and more hospitality.
This follows the further strengthening of the relationship between management and workforce with the extension of the site’s Customer Satisfaction Agreement (CSA) for a further five years to 2034.
Building on their previous relationship, they have created the new Hospitality Industry Advancement Trust (HIAT) Fund. The training offered focuses on three general categories known as “Safety, Skills and Smiles”.
Safety training offers the opportunity to earn both general and specialized safety certifications from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Skills Training aims to provide employees with relevant technical training by coordinating with contractors in the meetings and conventions industry such as Installation & Dismantling (I&D).
“Smiles” or Hospitality Programs 1.0 and 2.0 focus on customer prioritization training and positive attitude and engagement.
“This innovative, collaborative initiative by the convention center staff and management will improve workplace safety, provide additional skills training to enable the center to offer its customers the most economical expansion opportunities, and provide all guests with as many wonderful memories as they want over and over again return,” said Michael J. Barnes, chair of the HIAT Fund Board and first international vice president of the International Alliance of Theatrical & Stage Employees, in a press release.
“The undersigned convention center unions thank CEO John McNichol for his spirit of partnership and forward-thinking leadership,” continued Barnes.
The trust will receive approximately $250,000 to $400,000 a year from both unions, who make a donation for every hour worked with a tradesman, a donation that will be matched by Pennsylvania Convention Center management.
“[Our labor partners] We have a long-term commitment to ensuring that the personnel working at our facility not only have the latest safety and professional training, but also a high level of hospitality-focused training,” said John McNichol, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Authority for convention centers.
“The partnership and collaborative relationship between management and our staff on the show floor is remarkable and has a real, significant impact on the customer experience,” he continued.