Hilton, JAG to Open Doors for Young People in Hospitality

MCLEAN, VA—Further underscoring its commitment to sustaining a global hospitality industry where people of all backgrounds and experiences can build long-lasting careers, Hilton celebrated its work with Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), a national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing dropouts among young people who have barriers to success.

“As a business of people serving people, our team members are the heart and soul of Hilton, and as we continue our rapid growth, we have a need and a responsibility to inspire the next generation of hospitality leaders,” said Danny Hughes, EVP and president, Americas, Hilton and member of JAG’s Board of Directors. “That is why we’ve partnered with JAG—recognizing their unique ability to reach young people so that we can expose them to the dynamic world of hospitality and introduce them to the variety of career paths and possibilities that exist within this growing industry.”

As part of the company’s 100th anniversary celebration last year, Hilton announced a new corporate foundation, the Hilton Effect Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to create a better world to travel by supporting projects that are having a positive impact on our communities. JAG received one of the Foundation’s inaugural grants to help create opportunities for young people.

Driven by continued growth, the travel and tourism sector will be responsible for creating one out of every four new jobs over the next decade, creating significant career opportunities around the world. As recently announced, 2019 marked a year of record-breaking growth for Hilton in particular, one in which the company created more than 25,000 new jobs worldwide. To support this growth, Hilton is investing in new strategies and partnerships to help fill the hospitality industry talent pipeline and equip young people with the range of skills needed to succeed in today’s complex marketplace.

“As the #1 Best Company to Work For in the U.S. and #2 World’s Best Workplace, Hilton is committed to creating opportunities for our team members as well as those in the communities we support,” said Rachel Russell, SVP, human resource operations, Americas, Hilton. “Education remains a cornerstone of success and our work with JAG will provide these students real-world training and hands-on education that will pave the way for gainful employment in hospitality.”

Hilton is already in the process of activating its relationship with JAG in key markets including Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Indianapolis and Minneapolis through a variety of initiatives. Programs include hotel tours, mock interviews, career shadowing, mentoring and skills training and connecting JAG participants with hotel leaders for real-world professional guidance. Hilton is also helping JAG enhance their Employer Engagement program.

“Our partnership with Hilton presents a unique opportunity for JAG participants to experience valuable and unique opportunities to learn about the hospitality industry from some of the best in the business,” said Ken M. Smith, president, JAG. “JAG provides training, education and career development opportunities to students facing significant barriers, including economic, social, behavioral and educational. Working with partners like Hilton provides wonderful, life-changing experiences for these young people and helps them envision a successful future and pursue productive paths.”

Changing perceptions of career opportunities in the travel and tourism industry remains a key priority for the hospitality sector. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, lack of information, misjudgment and preconception are some of the biggest barriers preventing young people from connecting to careers in the industry. Through its partnership with JAG, Hilton will introduce young people to the diverse range of opportunities available to young people within the hospitality industry, spanning trades like culinary, technology, engineering, finance, sales and much more.

Hilton’s partnership with JAG supports the company’s Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals to double its investment in social impact, and programs that contribute to sustainable solutions and economic opportunity for all. The commitment is part of the company’s industry-leading corporate responsibility strategy to further the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.