© Copyright 2005 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning


Vol. 42 No. 9    






Who Are They and Where Do They Work One Year Later? Wyoming Hospitality Alliance Mentoring Program Participants

by: Sara Saulcy, Senior Economist


In conjunction with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), the Wyoming Lodging & Restaurant Association (WLRA) introduced the Wyoming Hospitality Alliance Mentoring (WHAM) program to 134 students in six of the stateís high schools in 1999. The program was developed with the goal of creating a skilled workforce for Wyomingís hospitality industry. Of particular concern within the hospitality industry is a lack of workers available to move into management and supervisory positions (Wyoming Lodging & Restaurant Association Education Foundation, n.d.). The WHAM program features high school-based training in the fields of culinary arts (the ProBaking program) and hospitality management (the ProStart program). Since its inception the program has grown to include 28 high schools and 800 students. 


This article focuses on the demographic characteristics of the 173 participants from the 2002-2003 school year and explores their industry employment and quarterly wages approximately one year after program completion. 


Table 1 shows the demographic characteristics of WHAM participants. Of the 173 participants, 114 were women (65.3%) and 52 were men (29.5%). By age group, most participants were 17-19 (129 participants; 74.6%), while 37 (21.4%) were ages 14-16. Age and gender data were unavailable for 7 participants. 


Table 2 shows participantsí employment by industry and their average quarterly wage in second quarter 2004 (2004Q2). Employed participants and their respective employers are included more than once in the table if they worked for more than one employer or employed multiple participants in 2004Q2. The most jobs were held in Leisure & Hospitality (45 jobs or 33.1%), the primary target of the programís efforts. 


On average, participants earned $1,405. The average quarterly wage in Leisure & Hospitality was $1,464, while the average quarterly wage in Trade, Transportation, & Utilities was $1,505. The highest average quarterly wage was for the 4 participants employed in Financial Activities ($2,540).


The complete report, Cooking Up a Career: Examining the Outcomes of a High School Training Program in the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management, compares employment and wages of WHAM participants to non-participant cohorts and presents survey reports of firms employing participants. The report is available from our website at http://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/WHAMReport.pdf




Wyoming Lodging & Restaurant Association Education Foundation. (n.d.). About us. Retrieved June 2, 2005, from http://www.wlra.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=391 


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