For Immediate Release

Media Contacts

Isaac Reichman:

Stephen Crano:


Apprenticeship Program provides emerging professionals from BIPOC communities

access to careers in the tourism and hospitality industries.

Chicago, IL (September 25, 2023) – While revenues generated by the visitor economy are critical to Chicago’s overall economic vitality, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) talent and leadership remains underrepresented in the local tourism and hospitality industry.

In an effort to lower barriers to accessing careers in the industry, Choose Chicago is proud to collaborate with United Airlines and PCMA on the first Events Track apprenticeship for 2023 – 2024 in partnership with Tourism Diversity Matters (TDM). United Airlines will contribute funding for this Apprenticeship Program and PCMA has committed to full time employment, benefiting one lucky candidate selected to complete this competitive program.

“The future of Chicago’s tourism and hospitality industry depends on connecting promising young talent to fulfilling careers,” said Lynn Osmond, President and CEO of Choose Chicago. “This apprenticeship program is one of the ways that we are working to establish a pipeline of talented young people who want to work in events, hotels, restaurants, or other tourism-adjacent businesses. I encourage all of our partners to invest in workforce development, and lead by example by committing resources to career exploration and internship opportunities.”

“At TDM, we are passionate about creating equitable opportunities for everyone to succeed in their chosen career,” said Greg DeShields, TDM Executive Director. “We are thrilled to partner with Choose Chicago, United Airlines, and PCMA on the apprenticeship program. This program is an important step towards creating a more diverse and inclusive industry.”

The apprentice will gain 600 hours of experience working at Choose Chicago, PCMA and United Airlines, receive a monthly stipend, paid travel expenses, and job placement upon successful completion of the program.

“The PCMA Foundation is passionate about powering the future of the global business events industry,” said Sherrif Karamat, CAE, PCMA and CEMA President and CEO. “Providing a future leader with access to the amazing teams and experiences at Choose Chicago, PCMA and

United Airlines is the foundation for a journey full of possibilities and transformation with access and exposure to this wonderful industry.”

As a global airline focused on connecting people, United works to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive culture to reflect the communities in which they work, live and fly–whether in Chicago or around the world.

“We’re proud to partner with Choose Chicago again this year and support their EDI Apprenticeship Program to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace,” says Glenn Hollister, Vice President, Sales Strategy and Effectiveness at United Airlines. “This collaboration is just one example of how we take action to build equitable access to careers in aviation.”

The apprentice will receive invaluable experience planning a large scale event and also be exposed to local stakeholders, clients and community partners.

“I’m glad to see this partnership with United Airlines and PCMA continue after a successful launch last year,” said Glenn Eden, Chairman of the Choose Chicago Board of Directors. “I hope that programs like this will help to bring about a future where the diversity of Chicago’s communities is authentically reflected in the leadership of our local hospitality industry.”

For more information and to learn how to apply for the Apprenticeship Program visit the Choose Chicago website.

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About Choose Chicago

Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor and meetings destination, leveraging the city’s unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city, its residents and our partner business community. Follow @choosechicago on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and X/Twitter and tag #ChicaGOandKNOW. For more information, visit

About United Airlines

At United, Good Leads The Way. With U.S. hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., United operates the most comprehensive global route network among North American carriers, and is now the largest airline in the world as measured by available seat miles. For more about how to join the United team, please visit and more information about the company is at United Airlines Holdings, Inc., the parent company of United Airlines, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol “UAL”.

About PCMA

PCMA, PCMA Foundation, and CEMA educate, inspire, and listen, creating meaningful experiences where passion, purpose, and commerce come together. We are the world’s largest community for Business Events Strategists, providing senior-level education, networking, and market intelligence for the global business events industry. Our mission is to drive social and economic progress through business events. Headquartered in Chicago, IL PCMA has 17 North American Chapters, regional communities in APAC, EMEA, and LATAM, and members in 59 countries. The Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA), a PCMA subsidiary, advances strategic event marketing and marketing communications for senior-level event marketers and industry professionals. Visit us at

About Tourism Diversity Matters

Tourism Diversity Matters (TDM) is a 501(c)(6) founded in 2021 to empower tourism organizations to evolve and achieve excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Dedicated solely to all dimensions of DEI, TDM drives organizations forward through four primary pillars of activity: Apprenticeships, Workforce Development, Diversity Equity and Inclusion Strategies, and Research and Data. TDM collaborates with renowned academic institutions and industry partners to address workforce disparities and ensure tourism organizations have equitable access to forward-thinking research and educational resources. Through exceptional expertise and leading DEI strategies, TDM’s highly customized work guides organizations to fuel innovation, grow their business and become an employer of choice. Learn more at