Mountain Area Careers Showcases their Certified Pathway in Hospitality & Tourism

Mountain Area Careers Hospitality & Tourism certified career pathway represents a four county initiative between Madison, Transylvania, Henderson and Buncombe Counties.



Hospitality and Tourism has accounted for a large percentage of Mountain Area’s job growth. The local area served by the Mountain Area Workforce Board attracts over 10 million visitors annually who enjoy the region’s natural beauty and culturally unique attractions including art galleries, shops and breweries.

Based on data from the NC Department of Commerce, the economic impact in the Local Area from direct visitor spending is over $1.4 billion annually and in Buncombe county alone according to the data from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority hospitality and tourism exceeds $2.6 billion annually.

Employers in the hospitality & tourism sector are experiencing significant workforce shortages. Hiring demand in this sector is anticipated to grow. For instance, approximately 3,500 hotel rooms are in the planning stages, under construction or have recently opened in the region.

While the average wage for most sectors in the region is below the state and national averages, only hospitality and tourism along with the healthcare sector pay wages that exceed the state average. Average wages in Buncombe County from accommodation employers is 17% higher than the NC average according to 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The hospitality and tourism sector is incredibly diversified with employers from entrepreneurial startups, family owned business to large hotel chains. The hospitality and tourism sector is comprehensive and represents almost every career cluster recognized by the NC Department of Public Instruction.

The growth of jobs in the hospitality sector has helped the region maintain the lowest unemployment rate in NC. Many well paid managers in the industry begin their career in entry level positions.


For more information on available careers on the Certified Hospitality & Tourism Pathway please visit Mountain Area Careers’s website:

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