Workforce challenges continue to plague restaurants, hotels, attractions, bars, breweries, and other hospitality related businesses in North Carolina. The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) is working to address the issue.

“Addressing workforce issues in the hospitality industry is an important part of our path to recovery,” said Lynn Minges, President  & CEO of the NC Restaurant and Lodging Association. “We really want to hear from hospitality business owners, operators, human resource managers, training managers, and others responsible for hiring, training, and retaining workers at these regional roundtables.”

North Carolina Department of Commerce (NCDOC) was awarded $6.4 million to establish a new tourism-focused economic recovery initiative. The new program, Supporting and Strengthening Resiliency in North Carolina’s Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation Sectors, is designed to develop and implement economic-building strategies for the recovery of North Carolina’s travel and tourism industries that suffered economic losses due to the pandemic. The NCDOC has contracted with the NCRLA Foundation to administer a $1.1 million hospitality workforce training program. The training program will offer formal training and certifications to help attract, expand and retain talent needed to fuel NC restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality related businesses.

Targets for the training will include:

  • Career and Technical Education Programs 
  • Post-Secondary Education Programs
  • Workforce Entry and Re-Entry
  • Professional Advancement for employees currently working in the hospitality industry

As a first step in our work on both fronts, we are eager to hear from human resources managers, business owners, operators, managers, and others involved in talent acquisition about:

  • Challenges you are experiencing with hiring and retention
  • Positions and roles that are most difficult to fill
  • Recruitment and retention strategies you are currently using, including which have been successful and which have not
  • Obstacles and issues that are impeding recruitment and retention (pay, benefits, transportation, childcare, hours of work, etc.)
  • Your thoughts and ideas about strategies we might employ to help recruit new workers to the industry and to retain our existing workforce
  • Insights on key messaging that would be helpful in defining the benefits of employment in the industry

To get started on these important initiatives, NCRLA has contracted with professional facilitators who will host a series of roundtable discussions across the state, including a session in Greenville. We need your participation to help shape both exciting initiatives.

What: Roundtable discussion sessions designed to shape our work together in helping to rebuild the NC hospitality workforce and retain workers

Who should attend:  Owners, operators, human resource managers, training managers, and others responsible for hiring, training, and retaining workers in hospitality related businesses across the state.

When: Thursday, August 25

Where: Greenville Convention Center, 303 Greenville Blvd. SW, Greenville, NC

Time: 2pm – 4pm

Registration is free, but please RSVP:

“We are excited to be a regional location for roundtable discussions to address workforce challenges that hospitality related businesses are experiencing”, stated Andrew Schmidt, President & CEO of Visit Greenville, NC and current President of the North Carolina Travel Industry Association. “We look forward to working with the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association and local partners to create solutions that will strengthen the hospitality workforce to benefit both residents and visitors across our state.”

Full Schedule of NCRLA’s Rebuilding Our NC Hospitality Workforce Town Hall Meetings:



Wednesday, August 3


Thursday, August 4


Tuesday, August 9


Wednesday, August 10


Tuesday, August 16


Wednesday, August 24


Thursday, August 25


Monday, August 29

Virtual Option

Tuesday, September 6

Outer Banks

For more information about the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, please visit: