For ambitious workers, the hotel industry is no place to rest. It remains a business in which higher education can be outweighed by determination — especially for immigrants to the United States, who may lack other options for upward mobility.
Many immigrants come to the U.S. specifically for hotel jobs. “There are several legitimate worker programs,” according to Greg Adkins, president and CEO of the Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association.
With domestic unemployment rates hovering around 4 percent, one of the hotel industry’s biggest challenges is filling jobs, he said. So many hotels turn to people here on student and work visas to fill the gap.
“The hotel industry is a very diverse industry, and yes, many of the hotels are owned by either refugees or immigrants, or the children of immigrants,” Adkins said. “It’s an industry where if you work hard, and you maybe don’t have a college education, you can still thrive. We are one of the few industries where that can still happen in America.”