For Immediate Release

Sixth Annual Hospitality Hires Chicago: Hospitality is a State of Mind

Sixth Annual Hospitality Hires Chicago: Hospitality is a State of Mind

The Partnership and hospitality sector sponsors connect hospitality employers and job seekers for one day, in-person hiring event

(CHICAGO)—The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) today announced the date of the much-anticipated 6th annual Hospitality Hires Chicago 2023 (HHC2023). The Partnership and event sponsors will host this in-person hiring event on Tuesday, April 18, from 9 to 3 pm at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago’s Loop. This year’s theme is Hospitality is a State of Mind. Sponsors include American Hotel and Lodging Association Foundation, Chicago Loop Alliance, Choose Chicago, Cook County, Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association Illinois Restaurant Association, The Magnificent Mile Association, and Near South Planning Board.


Both employers (  and job seekers ( must pre-register. The fee for employers to register is $200; there is no fee for job seeker registration.  Employers should register by April 5 and job seekers should register by April 12,


The event is expected to include 60 employers, including Garrett Popcorn Shops, Omni Chicago Hotel and more, offering entry-level to senior management positions. All positions provide quality wages and benefits, with employers ready to hire and promote talented individuals. At last year’s event, dozens of attendees received either a second interview or a job offer on the spot.


“The pandemic taught us it’s important to enjoy the work we do every day. Work-life balance and leveraging skills gained in other roles are on the minds of today’s job seeker,” says Partnership Interim CEO Patrick Combs. “The hospitality sector offers a unique opportunity to work your way up to management positions for a wide range of employers, and we look forward to helping to create that career pathway for HHC2023 attendees.”


“The Chicago Loop remains the heart of business and tourism within our great city, and as an organization we look forward to Hospitality Hires for its unique mission and accessible nature,” said Michael Edwards, President and CEO of Chicago Loop Alliance. “Downtown revitalization is a core tenet of both The Partnership’s and Chicago Loop Alliance’s work.  Programs like HHC encourage growth of hospitality businesses and teams, who are often the face of the Loop, and touchpoints for tourists, business travelers and more.”


Lourdes D. was laid off from her job in the restaurant industry during the pandemic and has now been at SMASHotels for less than a year. “The skills I gained in the restaurant industry are serving me well in a Human Resources job at SMASHotels,” said Lourdes. “I love working with a diverse group of people who have come to feel like family to me.”


Tina B. is the Vice President of Human Resources for SMASHotels. Tina is a past employer participant in Hospitality Hires. She reports that the job seekers she met were quality, job-ready candidates, some of whom she hired and now work for her organization. Tina and SMASHotels also participate in Partnership On-the-Job training programs.  They allow employees to receive wages while training and the employer is reimbursed for the cost of those wages during the training period.


Chef Trillis R. of Peach’s Restaurant in Chicago’s Bronzeville community is an artist at heart!

As a young man, he earned a degree in graphic design but faced a tough job market during the economic downturn in 2008. A relative encouraged him to come to work at Peach’s as a dishwasher. He said yes and hasn’t looked back. “I began to see that there were opportunities to utilize my artistic abilities in the restaurant industry—I made it my goal to find a way to merge those two interests as I worked my way up,” he says. He tells young people just starting out to think of a restaurant as an institution where they can learn something new every day. “I wake up every day smiling,” he adds.


To date, HHC events have helped more than 900 people get hired or secure conditional job offers and has provided more than 200 employers with access to more than a thousand pre-screened work-ready candidates. Employers from retail, transportation, food services, hospitality, and related sectors are committing to hiring hundreds of our residents.


Whether meeting with a career coach or getting help creating a resume, The Partnership’s goal is to provide the support needed to find a career. The Partnership’s networks include American Job Centers (AJC), which offer adults and youth. For more information, job seekers can reach an AJC by dialing 800-720-2515 or visiting The Partnership’s website at

About The Partnership

The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) is a non-profit umbrella organization operating the public workforce system for the City of Chicago and Cook County.

The Partnership combines federal and philanthropic resources to provide comprehensive workforce development services to employers and job seekers. As the largest public workforce development system in the nation, The Partnership has helped place more than 70,000 individuals in employment; collaborated with more than 2,000 employers; and administered more than $400 million in federal and philanthropic funds. The Partnership’s network consists of 90+ community-based organizations, American Job Centers, satellite sites and sector-driven centers, serving more than 140,000 people annually.  Learn more at