Riverside County’s economy depends on tourists—visitors to downtown Riverside’s Mission Inn, concertgoers in Indio, wine drinkers in Temecula, Canadian snowbirds who flock to the Coachella Valley. These travelers and their wallets have produced a surge in low-wage, low-benefit jobs in hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, and other businesses that often fail to present opportunities for advancement and career-building. Because of this, hundreds of thousands of county residents commute out of the area for better-paying jobs and professional growth. What would incentivize businesses to increase leisure workers’ pay and conditions? What can tourists themselves do to promote a more hospitable labor market? And how can the local tourism industry create opportunities for Riverside’s own people to rise up the ranks while remaining in the communities where they live?
A panel of experts visits Zócalo to discuss the future of tourism and hospitality workers in the Inland Empire and throughout California.
Zócalo invites our in-person audience to continue the conversation with our speakers and each other at a post-event reception with complimentary drinks and small bites.
“What Is a Good Job Now?” is a series supported by The James Irvine Foundation, focusing on workers in the low-wage sectors of California’s economy, in communities across the state. Public programs and essays, grounded in workers’ experiences and realities, will explore how to make the hardest jobs more rewarding, and make life better for those who do them.