Starwood Hotels & Resorts as Young Adult Employer Champions

Jun 19, 2015

BOSTON, Mass. (June 23, 2015) – The National Fund for Workforce Solutions recognized Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) as one of 11 employers, spanning a variety of industries, as 2015 “Young Adult Employer Champions.” In its first year, the program was created to acknowledge employers who have made a lasting investment in young adult workers by promoting effective hiring techniques and providing access to onsite training and skills development opportunities that result in overall long term retention and career stability.

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation nominated Starwood for this prestigious national award, as the Community Foundation was aware of Starwood’s deep commitment to internships for youth and young adults in Stamford, Connecticut. Stated Community Foundation President/CEO Juanita T. James, “Fairfield County’s Community Foundation believes honoring local employers like Starwood is important as this global company in our backyard is doing exemplary work on the youth employment/internship fronts.” The Community Foundation is promoting youth employment through its new regional initiative, Thrive by 25.

Michelle Naggar, Starwood’s Vice President of Social Responsibility and President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Foundation, Inc., accepted this national award at the annual conference of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions in Baltimore on June 18th.
Starwood has a rich history of ensuring environmental and social standards are upheld throughout its portfolio. A primary focus area of Starwood’s Global Citizenship strategy is to provide general skills and job readiness training for unemployed and underemployed individuals. The training can promote economic growth of local communities and stimulate interest in growing sectors that will increase the pursuit of employment in hospitality and related industries.

At its Stamford, Connecticut headquarters, Starwood recognized two needs – a local need for digital media and IT talent and rising youth unemployment. Starwood partnered with the Stamford Mayor’s Youth Employment Program (managed by the Stamford Youth Services Bureau) and Sacred Heart University to provide high school students with customized training and internships in these fields. The approach combines work-based and classroom learning, giving young adults a unique learning experience. Starwood also works with the Stamford Public Schools to implement year-round academic curriculum, giving students real-world educational experience so that they may expand their exposure to digital marketing. By working with its community partners, Starwood is able to expose young workers to hospitality, give them new skills and perspectives while simultaneously addressing an imperative need in the local community.
In addition, a critical component to Starwood’s workforce development commitment includes the continued training and advancement of its own employees. To that end, Starwood recently joined UpSkill America, a public-private initiative led by the US Department of Education to support front-line employees in advancing their careers.

The 2015 Young Adult Employer Champions have made substantial commitments toward helping to create well-paying, labor market-driven careers for young adult workers in their regions. Through these investments, the 11 Champions have been able to successfully engage with their local youth via industry partnerships. As a result of hiring young employees and providing career building opportunities, they have seen a multitude of companywide successes, from improving retention and employee engagement to minimizing recruitment costs.

“We applaud the continuous efforts and steadfast commitment to our nation’s newest generation of workers seen in the outstanding endeavors of all of the 2015 Young Adult Employer Champions.” said Fred Dedrick, Executive Director of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. “These Champions exemplify how investment in young adults can both transform individual lives and collectively change the landscape of our national workforce.”

Along with Starwood, the ten (10) other 2015 Young Adult Employer Champions are:
• Sinai Hospital/LifeBridge Health, Baltimore, MD
• Suffolk Construction, Boston, MA
• PTR Baler and Compactor, Philadelphia, PA
• AugustaWestland, Philadelphia, PA
• Carey-Floyd Manufacturing, Cromwell, CT
• Keats Manufacturing Company, Wheeling, IL
• Mallory Industries, Inc., Farmington, CT
• Swiss Post Solutions, Inc., New York, NY
• Pointe Precision, Inc., Plover, WI
• OpenSquare, Seattle, WA

The National Fund is documenting their outstanding practices and has profiled PTR Baler and Compactor, Swiss Post Solutions, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
The Annie E. Casey Young Adult Employer Champion program is generously supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

To learn more about the Young Adult Employer Champions, visit: http://www.nfwsolutions.org/initiatives/young-adult-initiatives.

About National Fund for Workforce Solutions
The National Fund for Workforce Solutions, based in Boston, Mass., is a growing national partnership of employers, communities, workers and philanthropy. Together, they invest in more than 35 regional funder collaboratives to strengthen local economies by implementing demand-driven workforce strategies that create talent supply chains, close skill gaps and improve systems. To learn more, visit http://nfwsolutions.org.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 1,200 properties in some 100 countries and over 180,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, Element® and the recently introduced Tribute Portfolio™. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood recently announced plans to spin off its Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc. business, a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands, into a standalone public company by the end of 2015. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

For further information about Starwood’s Global Citizenship efforts, please visit: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/corporate/about/citizenship/index.html

About Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Community Foundation is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards, and has awarded $180 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, visit FCCFoundation.org.