In the competitive US hotel industry, the majority of front desk clerks and housekeepers are not making a living wage, and the majority of hotels suffer from high staff turnover. In Boston, a group of innovative organizations has come together to break this cycle and deliver better business outcomes for hotels and better jobs and wages for frontline workers.
Boston Education and Skills Training Corp (BEST) works with 35 high-road hotels that offer starting hourly wages as high as $21.43 and with Local 26, the hospitality workers’ union, to develop and deliver training that prepares workers to excel. Nearly 90 percent of BEST trainees graduate, their average annual income increase is $14,000, and 98 percent get jobs with employer-sponsored health coverage.
Omni Parker House, one of BEST’s partner hotels, provides good wages and full benefits, while empowering its staff to shine in quality jobs. The Parker House works closely with BEST to inform its curriculum, hire its graduates, and help workers succeed through management and culture that encourages them to learn and grow.
Recognizing the importance of this partnership, the Aspen Institute’s Workforce Strategies Initiative interviewed leaders of BEST and Omni Hotels & Resorts to find out what makes their work together successful. Read our profiles to learn more.
“From what our employers tell us, it’s because we’ve vetted and found people that are actually interested in hospitality, and our graduates hit the ground running. The hotels save on recruitment and training costs, and reduce turnover, and even save money because of the ergonomics component.”
“We work with BEST to find people. It’s an awesome organization because of what it’s doing to teach people the skills they need to get a job. The way our associates treat guests has an impact on them returning…. People keep coming back. What keeps the Parker House going is the people who work there…. Everybody’s empowered to make a decision to benefit the guest…. Employees have to be given autonomy to be able to keep customers satisfied. And this autonomy also helps with job satisfaction.”
This project was supported by a legacy gift from the Hitachi Foundation. The Foundation incubated its Good Companies@Work and Entrepreneurship@Work programs to new homes at the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, and Investors’ Circle.
Tweet In the hotel industry, the majority of front desk clerks &housekeepers are not making a living wage, and the majority of hotels suffer from high staff turnover. But @BESTCorpHTC & @OmniParkerHouse are breaking this cycle.
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