Greater Chattanooga Hospitality Association Receives First Tennessee Human Trafficking Awareness Certification

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Greater Chattanooga Hospitality Association board of directors has become Tennessee’s first such organization to complete certification training for Human Trafficking awareness.

The GCHA has committed itself to become a signee of the Tourism Child Protection Code of Conduct, a certification given by End Child Prostitution and Trafficking, an international organization that fights human trafficking. 

Hamilton County has reported more than 100 cases of adult sex trafficking and up to 50 cases of trafficking in minors.  The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Vanderbilt University conducted a statewide study that found there were more than 100 cases of human sex trafficking documented by social service agencies in Chattanooga. At the time, no local law enforcement agency had any reports of sex trafficking. 

Tennessee is ranked #1 in the USA in its efforts to fight sex trafficking in particular by “Shared Hope” an International organization who is leading in prevention strategies, restoration programs and justice initiatives to combat trafficking in the U.S. and abroad.  

Ann Coulter, a volunteer with the Women’s Fund of Chattanooga said, “The Shared Hope International study found that 78 of the state’s 95 counties had reported at least one instance of human trafficking. Here in the Chattanooga area sex trafficking is the dominate form of this awful crime.  Human trafficking, including the trafficking of underage girls for sex is modern day slavery according to the Department of Homeland Security and it is growing, not just around the world but in our own communities."

The GCHA’s mission is:   To promote and enhance the lodging, restaurant, tourism, and allied industries through education, government relations, environment excellence and community service. Members of the association (hotel properties and related companies) have been urged to share the certification training with their employees to raise awareness of this serious crime. One hotel, the Doubletree Hotel has already received its certification, according to Bill Mish, the hotel general manager.

In Tennessee, human trafficking is defined as: recruitment, smuggling, transporting, harboring, buying or selling of a person through force, threats, fraud, deception, or coercion for the purposes of exploitation, prostitution, pornography, migrant work, sweat shops, domestic servitude, forced labor, bondage, peonage, or involuntary servitude. 

For more information or to report suspected human trafficking call Tennessee Human Trafficking Resources Center Hotline 855.558-6484.  www.stopsextraffickinginTN.com


Young Professionals Association Hosts Eighth Annual Awards Program

The Young Professionals Association of Chattanooga (YPAC) hosted its eighth annual YP Awards program today at the Chattanoogan.  This year’s winners in each category are: YP of the Year Tiffanie Robinson, Lamp Post Group YP-Friendly Business of the Year Monen Restaurants YP Entrepreneur of the Year Jorge Parra, Taqueria Jalisco YP Corporate ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Business Calendar For Feb. 28-March 6

March 2015   SA/28 24Hour Generator at Mad, Bad, and Dangerous 3:00 p.m. Girls Preparatory School: 205 Island Ave. 24Hour Generator is a new event designed for enterprising high school girls across the region. Hosted by The Company Lab (CO.LAB) and held as part of GPS’s inaugural  Mad, Bad, and Dangerous  event, 24Hour Generator ... (click for more)

Signal Council, Residents Concerned About Unsafe Driving En Route To Schools

The town council of Signal Mountain is dealing with a traffic problem caused by increased traffic to and from Signal Mountain Middle High School and Nolan Elementary. Mayor Dick Gee said, “This is a tough issue that we wouldn’t have to deal with if everyone would drive responsibly.” The main concern is for safety and in November the council agreed to try to fix the problem by ... (click for more)

88-Year-Old Woman In Bradley County Severely Burned After Going Back In Burning House For Pets

Two people were injured in a house fire in Bradley County on Friday.   Shortly before noon, Bradley County EMS responded to a reported house fire on Hancock Road.   Two ambulances and a shift commander responded. Initial reports were that there were two people injured. When EMS crews arrived, Bradley County firefighters were performing resuscitative ... (click for more)

We Ought To Pay Our Own Way

The government is too big. It has never been bigger - by any measure. It spends more money than any other single actor in our society. From Blue Rhinos to providing telecommunications services, our government knows no bounds. We’ve gone from a free enterprise system to a public enterprise system.  I'm not an artist. I'm not terribly tech savvy. The part of government that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Secret Train Ride

It was during Christmas of 2003 when Bennett Levin and his wife found themselves talking and worrying about the wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed Military Hospital in Bethesda, Md., and at the nearby Bethesda Naval Hospital. Their wish was that they could do something meaningful, something really grand, for the soldiers who had lost limbs, their eyesight, and far worse. As ... (click for more)