Miami City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones couldn’t believe local hotels were going outside of the city to hire thousands of workers when people in Miami needed work, so she decided to do something about it. Spence-Jones approached hotel executive Julie Grimes, and together they started the Hospitality Institute, which provides career training, coaching and job fairs for the homeless, unemployed and otherwise disenfranchised.
Since June 2007, the institute has produced two sessions, attracting roughly 70 applicants; almost 30 have been hired for hospitality jobs. The city of Miami has approved $150,000 in city funds to bolster the project, giving a $100,000 grant to the Veterans Employment Transition Service to take over full-time operations of the loose confederation of hotels, charities and employment programs.
Not all the applicants are employable — chains will not hire those with a criminal record. But, the program is one solution for an industry that increasingly has been looking overseas to fill low-paying positions.
Source: The Miami Herald