One local organization is making a national change.

Vision Hospitality is training hotel employees to identify sex trafficking.

Hotels and motels are among the most common places where trafficking is reported.

Since this training started a few years ago, more than 3,500 hotel employees have been taught the signs of trafficking and the importance of notifying the right people.

William Mish has worked in the hotel industry for several years.

He helped start Vision Hospitality about 10 years ago. Now, he's a manager for Springhill Suites in Ooltewah.

Mish says people knew about the sex trafficking problem for years but chose to ignore it until now.

“The cereal carton had a picture of a missing child and the joke was well they ran away to join the circus,” said William Mish. "I don't think that was the case."

Mish knows of many cases of sex trafficking during his career in hotels in Tennessee and North Georgia.

He trains employees to be on the lookout for young children between the ages of 12 and 14 who are oddly dressed. He says to pay attention any abnormal behavior too.

“They don't want their room cleaned, they're always putting the do not disturb sign out, but they say we just want the towels and have a lot of traffic going in and out of the room especially in the evening hours,” said Mish.

Mish says Tennessee plays an important role in trafficking because of the freeways connecting the North to the South.

He says people working the front desk at hotels are the first line of defense.

"Let's just keep a good eye on who's in your hotel. Let's not be passé about this, let's pay attention and let's interact," Mish said. "Getting that knowledge to management so management can call the appropriate people, and make that call for them to help them, and making that decision is huge."

Last year alone, more than 8,500 human trafficking cases were reported to the national hotline.