The U.S. Travel Association released a report this week measuring the impact and value of travel jobs.  Fast Forward: Travel Creates Opportunities and Launches Careers details the travel industry's benefit to the American workforce.

The report is an analysis of more than three decades of employment data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A first-of-its-kind study, Fast Forward concludes that travel not only offers an early foothold on the job ladder, but also provides valuable skills that develop into rewarding careers.

Results showed that workers whose first jobs are in travel ultimately earn higher wages, have greater access to educational opportunities and enjoy more successful career progression.  If supported by policies that allow the industry to thrive, travel can continue to create good jobs and provide opportunities for millions of Americans.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 18,000 people are employed in hospitality and leisure positions in Springfield.