CH&LAEF & Scholarship Information

The California Hotel & Lodging Association Education Foundation (CH&LAEF) provides funding and assistance to individuals studying in the field of hospitality and the California institutions that offer hospitality training, as well as for related activities which further research and knowledge in the field of hotel management with respect to the lodging, hospitality, and food service industries. In just the past two decades, CH&LA’s Education Foundation has contributed more than $500,000 to the future benefit of the California lodging industry.

Hospitality Student Scholarships

The CH&LAEF offers scholarship opportunities to high school students and 2 - 4 year college students majoring in a lodging/hospitality related field.  In 2016, the Foundation awarded scholarships totaling over $20,000, to 14 students, representing 7 hospitality programs. 

The 2017-18 general student scholarship application period is now closed.  

Working Professional Scholarships

The CH&LAEF Working Professional Scholarship Program offers scholarships (50% of activity costs up to $1000) to an employee of a CH&LA member property, for professional development activities within the hospitality industry.  Professional development includes classes through community colleges and universities as well as certifications through the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. 

Funds will not be available in advance, but will be reimbursed upon completion of the program and  documented expenses have been submitted.  

Eligibility Requirements

Employees of CH&LA/CABBI member properties, who have been employed at that property for at least one year, are eligible to apply for this scholarship.


  • The scholarship activity must be specific to the hospitality industry and your current job or aspired job responsibilities.
  • Preference will be given to applicants where the scholarship activity awards a professional designation (i.e. CHA, CGSP, etc.) or awards a Certificate of Completion.
  • Allows the applicant access to training that would otherwise not be available without scholarship assistance.

For more information about how to apply for a CH&LA Working Professional scholarship, please contact Susan Ragatz, Education Director, CH&LA,,


Annual Online Auction to Grow Hospitality Education

The CH&LAEF would like to thank the many generous members of the industry who donated items to the 2016 annual online auction, which supports its scholarship program.  The auction raised over $30,000, a single auction record for the Foundation.  Proceeds fund scholarships for students, at all levels, studying for careers, or studying to advance a current position in the lodging industry.  CH&LA and its Foundation have been working with high schools, community colleges and workforce development agencies to help raise the awareness of careers in the hospitality industry.  This increased focus on the industry has resulted in an increase in available courses, and in the number of students who are making career changes.  We need a well-trained and excited workforce pool! 

Next year, the auction will again be held in the fall, dates yet to be determined.  So please be sure to keep us in mind when considering your donation budget!

Lodging Service Award

In 2014, the CH&LAEF launched the pilot program, Lodging Service Award, a "scholarship" for member properties.  Member properties competed for the award which would provide the recipient property with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute's Guest (AH&LEI) Service Gold Program.

Guest Service Gold is a comprehensive program designed to accomplish the goal of creating guest service-oriented line level employees who know how to engage with their guests to provide memorable guest services.

In 2015, three properties were named as recipients of the award:  Brewery Gulch Inn - Mendocino, CA, Hallmark Inn - Davis, CA, Magic Castle Hotel - Hollywood, CA.  All three properties exhibit the highest standards in customer service, and will be recognized nationally by earning the Certified Guest Service Professional designation, upon completion of training and testing of their staff.


Tax Deductible Donations

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, please make checks payable to CH&LA Education Foundation, or you may click the button to the left to submit your donation online.  For further information, please contact Education Director, Susan Ragatz at or 916-554-2678.