WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH kids today? If the answer to the age-old question is that too many young people feel disconnected from the economy with no opportunities, Hyatt Hotels Corp. aims to change it. The company plans to hire 10,000 Opportunity Youth, 16- to 24-year-olds who are neither in school nor working, worldwide by 2025.
Hyatt’s RiseHY program takes a three-prong approach. First, it will deploy virtual technology online to give the potential candidates an inside look at the work hospitality professionals do. It also will provide AI-driven skill-matching software to community-based organizations to determine candidates’ best fit at Hyatt or other hospitality jobs. Finally, Hyatt will work with organizations such as Grads of Life and Youth Career Initiative to provide on-the-job training and employment opportunities.
“Hospitality is one of the few industries where entry-level opportunities often lead to fulfilling, life-long careers that can change the trajectory of someone’s life,” said Malaika Myers, Hyatt’s chief human resources officer.
RiseHY is intended to address an issue raised by the International Labour Organization, which has found that more than 40 percent of the young people globally are either unemployed or living in poverty. The company also cites findings by Measure of America that 4.9 million Opportunity Youth in the U.S. are disconnected from the economy.
“Hyatt’s support of Youth Career Initiative since 2008 has helped over 300 disadvantaged young people train and secure meaningful employment at Hyatt hotels around the world,” said Wolfgang Neumann, chairman of the International Tourism Partnership. “Together, we aim to provide vocational skills, training and employment opportunities to thousands of the most disadvantaged young people, empowering them to improve their lives and build successful careers in the hospitality industry.”
In March, the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation and the American Hotel and Lodging Association announced they were offering $75,000 in grants to Chicago community-based organizations that recruit and train new hotel workers. That program also involves Grads of Life and is part of AHLA’s Dreams Happen Here campaign, a national awareness effort centered on career advancement opportunities and the economic importance of hotel and lodging businesses.
“The demand for exceptional talent in our industry is greater than ever, and we know we must continue working hard to meet the anticipated growth,” Marc Gordon, president and CEO of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association, said at the time. “We believe that this grant contribution will make a big difference in the lives of many local youth who are ready to join this industry.”
AHLEF has offered similar grants to groups in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Baltimore. AHLA and its foundation announced a series of new educational scholarships made available in partnership with Pearson’s AcceleratED Pathways program earlier in March.