In October, the Gateway Initiative organized a meeting with Senator Chris Elliott to discuss depleted federal funding for wage reimbursements to support apprenticeships in our area. 

Until recently, Alabama businesses were entitled to 50% wage reimbursement for 480 hours for each apprentice they employed.  The wage reimbursement was initiated through a four-year grant administered by the US Department of Labor.  With this money running dry, Gateway asked Senator Elliott to meet with our hospitality industry consortium group to seek his thoughts on sponsoring a state appropriation to back fill the money needed to sustain the project.  Mindy Hanan, CEO of the Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Association was on hand to support the appropriation for a pandemic decimated industry.  “Anything we can do to support our hospitality businesses financially makes sense at this time” said Hanan.  “This wage reimbursement not only helps with a businesses bottom line but helps them employ a tried and true method of training and retention strategy excellence”.