Diversity Apprenticeship Program for Travel and Hospitality Industry

Experience Columbus

BACKGROUND: Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, whose mission is to help make Greater Columbus an appealing destination to visit, understands the critical role tourism plays in workforce development and the economic vitality of a community. After all, Greater Columbus welcomes 43 million visitors each year which generates 7.6 billion dollars in local business. The tourism and hospitality industry supports nearly 78,600 jobs in Franklin County.

BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) talent and leadership is vastly underrepresented in our industry. Experience Columbus has partnered with Tourism Diversity Matters to form a Diversity Apprenticeship Program. This program offers emerging BIPOC leaders to gain firsthand experience working in destination marketing and the travel and hospitality industry.

The beauty of travel has always been its ability to expose us to people, places, and experiences different from our own. Experience Columbus, the Greater Columbus Sports Commission and over thirty Columbus partners are thrilled to offer this reimagined program to create more leadership pathways for BIPOC individuals in the tourism industry.

OBJECTIVE: The Diversity Apprenticeship program will provide hands on, on-the-job experience for people who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color) to work across multiple departments (i.e., administration, guest service, food and beverage, marketing, sales, finance, etc.) in travel industry organizations. The Apprenticeship Program is structured to position the apprentice for long-term professional success in a leadership capacity in the travel industry.

STRUCTURE: The central terms of the Diversity Apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • An apprentice who self identifies as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color)
  • Providing at least 600 hours of substantial experience working within the tourism industry.
  • Pay rate is $17/hour
  • The goal of the program is a full-time job offer, at a managerial level or higher, upon the apprentices' successful completion of the program.

APPRENTICESHIP OVERVIEW: During the 6-month program, the apprentice will be employed by Experience Columbus, however, will spend most of the program hours in one, two or even three different participating partner organizations. The apprentice will have the opportunity to prioritize the tracks by interest. Although, we cannot guarantee your preferred track, we will try our best to accommodate applicants based on their preferences.


  • Gain valuable work experience across departments and organizations
  • Build your skillset and resume, merging academic theory with practical application in the workplace
  • Learn about the internal workings of a DMO across multiple departments
  • Exposure to local stakeholders and community partners
  • A full-time job offer, at a managerial level or higher, upon the apprentices' successful completion of the program

APPLICANT CRITERIA: This is a highly competitive program. Applicants should meet the following universal eligibility requirements:

  1. Self-identify as BIPOC
  2. Aged 18+
  3. High School diploma or equivalent
  4. Interest in the hospitality/travel/tourism sector
  5. Possessing a strong work ethic, a passion for learning, and abundant curiosity

*The successful completion of a background check is required after offer of employment and proof of authorization to work in the US must be provided within 3 days of start date.

Preferred skills:

  1. Works well independently and with a team
  2. Has the ability to solve problems
  3. Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  4. Comfortable learning new technologies or software
  5. Detail oriented and organized
  6. Committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and equity


  • Commit to a 600 Hour Apprenticeship (not to exceed 6 months)
  • Start date (10/3/22) and availability to working at least 30-40 hours per week.
  • Availability to work some nights and weekends
  • Adhere to program policies and procedures of Experience Columbus, and any additional host destination partners
  • Perform all duties as assigned
  • Complete a program survey / post-apprenticeship evaluation

Note: While performing the duties of the apprenticeship, the employee is frequently required to sit, walk, talk or hear. Employee may be requested to lift materials of up to twenty-five pounds. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essentials functions

Click Here to Apply

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