Kansas City, MO (January 21, 2016)
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Foundation, Inc. and Children International are changing what it means to prepare young people in disadvantaged areas for careers in the tourism industry.
With almost 73 million youth worldwide looking for work, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO)1 , Children International's Into Employment® program continues to make progress against these challenges by offering disadvantaged youth the chance to tap into their potential and connect their talents with the needs of the local marketplace.
In addition to a grant from the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Foundation, Inc., experienced management staff members from Starwood hotels teach young people the skills needed to excel in the hotel trade, including culinary arts, waiting tables and housekeeping. Additionally, the program equips youth with life skills – such as effective communication, conflict resolution and teamwork – to help them transition into their jobs and outline a career path. The training program was designed as a pilot in Ecuador and Guatemala, and has far-reaching possibilities to help youth around the globe.
"This program is a win-win for everyone involved," said Children International's Director of Workforce Development, Tom Owens. "The youth get the training they need to be successful; the hotels in these countries are able to hire talented, capable youth; the local economy grows; and the community enjoys more stability."
Rocio Hammershaimb from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. added, "At Starwood, we have a long history of cultivating great talent. Many of our hotel management mentors once started their careers in entry-level positions and progressed through the organization. They serve as both role models and inspiration to the young professionals entering the program."
Just last month, a graduation ceremony took place at a Sheraton hotel in Ecuador to celebrate 50 youth who completed the program. Guests from Ecuador's Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Tourism and several other hotels attended the event and were impressed with the program and the graduates themselves.
Thanks to a recent Starwood Foundation grant, Starwood and Children International have created a training program specifically to help youth prepare for jobs in the tourism industry in Ecuador and Guatemala.
Frank, a recent Into Employment® graduate, said, "It has been a wonderful experience...the greatest experience of my life."
About Children International
Children International is a top-rated humanitarian organization focused on ending poverty by helping children and youth. We take a holistic approach to our programs and work through local professional staff at each of our 70+ community centers worldwide. Our goal is that each child graduates from our program healthy, educated, employed and empowered to break the cycle of poverty.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Foundation, Inc. & Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
The Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Foundation is a registered 501c3 that focuses on workplace readiness, community vitality, and human rights to ensure vibrant communities. Since launching in 2011, the Foundation has put more than US$3 million into the communities where Starwood Hotels operate, focusing on workplace readiness, community vitality, and human rights. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 1,270 properties in some 100 countries and over 180,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences under the renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Tribute Portfolio™, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, Element®, along with an expanded partnership with Design Hotels™. The Company also boasts one of the industry's leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®). Visit www.starwoodhotels.com for more information and stay connected @starwoodbuzz on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook.