Putting the homeless to work in hotels

Here's a great story about how Boston is training formerly homeless people to fill entry-level jobs in hotels. From the article:

    “The START curriculum is very concise and includes preparation for many different positions, which enables us to offer our clients a choice of jobs they may be interested in,” explained Serena Powell, executive director of Community Work Services. “We represent people with a diverse set of challenges and barriers. Some are homeless and college educated, while others are homeless and learning disabled. START offers a range of jobs to meet different ability levels.”

    Powell added that the program’s structure, testing component, and AH&LA credential were other important considerations.

    “It was an easy sell to the hotels—we got a resounding ‘Yes!’ when we presented the program to them,” she said. Participating properties include the Bulfinch Hotel, Hampton Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express, Park Plaza, Ritz Carlton, Royal Sonesta, Shawmut Inn, Fairmont Copley Plaza, and the Westin.

How's it working?

    S. Nicholas Kriketos II, director of guest services at the Ritz-Carlton, called the At Your Service graduates hired by the hotel “true service professionals.”

    “The ladies and gentlemen we have selected from Community Work Services have met and exceeded all of our expectations,” he said.

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