Hotel T.E.A.C.H. Project Description
"I learned how to communicate with guests. Before I couldn't do extra rooms. Now I take responsibility and can do more work. It is important to work together and have good relationships with co-workers and managers. I feel great about the program. I learned so much."
- Hotel TEACH student
"The people from this program now have a sense of "our company," understanding our guests and our business. They show enthusiasm and passion for their work. I see much more of that. They put in a lot of hard work and effort."
- Sheraton Hotel Manager
The Center was the recipient of funding from the US Department of Labor to create a contextualized ESL curriculum for immigrant workers looking to advance their careers in the hospitality industry. The course that came out of this grant seeks to strike a balance between the needs of the employer and the employee/students.
The course is unique in many ways, but especially so in that it was specifically designed for incumbent workers who have been employed in the "back of the house" and who desire to move up, into "front of the house" positions with more customer interaction and responsibility. The course can also be easily modified for use with non-incumbent workers who are looking to enter the hospitality industry. Other unique aspects of the curriculum include embedded technology lessons, career counseling that focuses on the "soft skills" of good customer service (such as empathy skills and active listening skills), identifying transferable skills (building from what students already know), and the use of an internet classroom, which allows working students to easily catch up on any missed class time.
As the external Evaluation noted, the outcomes for the cycle of training for Sheraton Hotel employees were quite remarkable. 80% of the students raised their Best Plus English language test scores by at least one level. Self-assessments of computer literacy and knowledge of hotel industry standards also showed great improved for the majority. Of the 20 graduates, one has been moved up to a management position in Housekeeping, two applied and interviewed for higher positions, and four others have been recently accepted into the Sheraton's Management training program. These four are training for varied positions with management responsibilities, including Front Desk, Banquet Captain, and Food and Beverage Services.
Outcomes for the second cycle of training (for individuals looking to enter the Hospitality field) included the following: Of the 19 completers, 75% of the graduating participants raised their Best PLUS English test score by at least one level. A 6 month follow up indicated that 50% of the graduates had obtained new jobs. Seven of the graduates found new jobs, three of which were in the hospitality sector and three of which were in customer service/retail. Two other graduates were offered positions, one of which was a hospitality position.