Experts within New Jersey's retail, hospitality and tourism cluster are using this week to promote the job and growth opportunities available across the state.

Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Week started Monday and runs through Friday with networking and training events along the way.


Sandra Bleckman, director of New Jersey's RHT Talent Network North, said residents may not be aware of the simplest job opportunities in these industries that could lead to solid careers. She noted many of today's hotel, store and restaurant managers started as dishwashers or part-time retail associates.

"One in every four jobs falls within retail, hospitality and tourism," Bleckman added.

The Talent Network's southern director, Caitlyn Weiss, said the "message of opportunity" holds true even with seasonal positions.

"There are so many opportunities in these industries that may not always seem like the yellow brick road, but they absolutely are," Weiss said.

Bleckman and Weiss agreed the industry cluster focuses less on educational requirements, and more on the characteristics one possesses.

"It's showing up on time or five minutes early in your uniform," Weiss said. "It's asking if there's anything else you can do that truly leads to a strong career path."

Both expressed confidence in a refueled tourism season this year, following the drop-off experienced post-Sandy.