Teal and orange aprons signal beacons of assistance for visitors at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Kim Hall Jackson, Sales & Convention Services Liaison at the center, trains students enrolled in its training and education programs to work as hospitality volunteers.
“We welcome everyone with a smile,” Hall Jackson told a recent group of trainees.
Training sessions for the “Ask Me” volunteers – a name derived from the wording on their shirts – are designed to encourage helpful answers to questions from the public. Each volunteer is given an apron in the branded colors of the center and they are positioned at a strategic pedestrian point within the center’s more than 1 million-square feet of space during major events. The latest trainees worked the Philadelphia Auto Show in January, assisting with more than 250,000 visitors.
The center invests more than $1.5 million a year to support the Hotel, Restaurant, Travel & Tourism Program offered at five Philadelphia School District high schools that are part of the Philadelphia Academies initiative. Students enrolled in a hospitality workforce training program through the Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) are also supported.
“The center’s funding of education and training programs is vital to developing future generations of hospitality workers in this region,” said the center’s President and CEO Ahmeenah Young. For information on the program, contact the center’s Marketing Department at 215-418-4750.