The very nature of the hospitality business and a key part of that experience is to provide a safe, welcoming environment for customers and employees. We strive to ensure every employee and guest is safe at all times, and that processes and procedures are in place for possible risks. We want all our employees to feel safe and be prepared for situations as they arise.
We provide our employees with regular trainings that promote awareness and teach prevention techniques. Last year, our hourly hotel employees participated in more than 1,000 total hours of paid safety trainings with local partner organizations, including sexual harassment prevention, self-defense, panic button utilization training, and CPR and human trafficking courses. Every new employee and manager is required to complete sexual harassment training.
These trainings occur monthly throughout hotels in the Long Beach area. Just this past month, Long Beach Hospitality Alliance hotels partnered with local organizations Allied Universal and the WomenShelter of Long Beach for Active Shooter Preparation & Prevention and Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention trainings. Our leadership has also maintained active participation in the Alliance’s Public Safety Meeting.
This April, in coordination with National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the alliance also launched the #SafetyTogether Campaign. Alliance members and community organizations worked together to raise awareness of sexual assault, and to educate employees and customers on the resources available to report assault, support survivors and prevent sexual violence. Campaign members also distributed resources through their social media channels using #SafetyTogether.
Our Alliance hotels and other hospitality industry professionals also took part in National Denim Day on April 25 as a visible way to raise awareness of sexual assault within the community. Denim Day began 19 years ago following an Italian Supreme Court ruling that overturned a rape conviction. The court ruled that since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped the rapist remove her jeans, implying consent. Women in the Italian Parliament came to work the next day wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. In support of this tradition, hospitality industry employees wore jeans during operating hours while interacting with customers.
Alliance hotel representatives and community partners also took part in Denim Day by wearing jeans at its Second Annual Alliance Job Fair to continue driving the conversation around safety in the hospitality industry with potential employees and community members. Partnering organization WomenShelter of Long Beach also provided sexual assault awareness and prevention materials that were distributed at the job fair.
The Alliance has taken it upon ourselves to report out on these monthly trainings and proactive safety measures to the Long Beach City Council. For the second month in a row, we have delivered our Hotel Safety Report to detail the depth of our work. We want our community leaders to know how seriously we take the safety of our staff and guests.
Over the years, I have seen the hospitality industry grow and thrive in the City of Long Beach. As we have grown, we have been a committed partner of the city. As we move forward, we will continue this commitment and our work to build a safe and thriving Long Beach. That commitment begins with our employees’ safety. We welcome the city’s continued involvement and invite others to join us in our mission to keep our community safe.