I would like to publicly applaud The Island Packet for its advocacy on behalf of the hospitality industry on Hilton Head Island and the surrounding region. The newspaper's journalistic efforts (in publishing a series of articles) to address systematic problems in sustaining a quality workforce long term makes plain that change is needed to sustain such a critical industry to the economic stability of the area.
Far too long has economic development in the region been skewed towards dead end investment. Tourism and hospitality are viable avenues to create stability in the long term, while other industries have a tendency to lag.
The strength of the region's efforts in this regard is very much determinate on building resources...human performance, infrastructure, capital projects, education (at all levels: high school, certificate programs, technical college and 4yr). The voices of those working to fulfill every imaginable service have consistently remained absent and should be considered necessary. Bolstering the industry with resources won't remain viable without active representation or advocacy from the workforce itself. That is, the voices of those that serve on the front line sitting at the table to lend experience when visioning the island's future.
As such, I will continue to lend my praise to the newspaper's editorial board and its reporters for standing with the people and not the system in this series.