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Hilton joined other leading American companies in the initiative which represents President Obama's call-to-action for communities and businesses to help connect out-of-school, out-of-work Opportunity Youth ages 16 to 24 to their first jobs.
Hilton has a long history of creating opportunities for young people, including through partnership with the Youth Career Initiative (YCI). In 2014, the company announced a formal commitment to impact at least one million young people around the globe by 2019. The initiative includes preparing young people for success through mentorships, apprenticeships and an innovative career awareness program (Careers@HiltonLive), as well as by employing them directly across all parts of the business.
YCI is a six month skills training and employability programme run by ITP in 13 countries worldwide. By partnering with local NGOs and member hotel properties, YCI offers hope and opportunity to disadvantaged young people through their practical experience of up to 14 different departments in full service hotels, coupled with employability skills like languages and CVs, plus mentoring. Hilton operates YCI in a number of properties in several global locations.
Christopher J. Nassetta, President and CEO of Hilton said, “A first job can truly be life-changing, and at Hilton, we've seen countless examples of how someone can build their confidence, their skills and ultimately a fulfilling life if they are set on the right track in the beginning. It's incredibly inspiring to see someone who joined us in an entry-level position one day rise to the highest levels, and we are proud to partner with the White House to make this a reality for even more youth. Many of the most serious issues facing our nation and our world can be addressed by ensuring millions of young people receive the right opportunities when they are just starting out, and businesses like Hilton are very fortunate to benefit from their energy, passion and drive.”
Nassetta knows first-hand how important an initial job can be to launching a career. His first job was in the engineering department of a Washington, D.C., hotel, which sparked his passion for the hospitality industry and paved the way for his career. He speaks about his career progression and provides advice to job seekers in a video published on his Facebook page.
A White House spokesperson said, “The President knows that we still have work to do to drive down unemployment and increase wages at the rates we’ve seen in recent years. But unemployment rates for young people – and in particular, young people of color – are still far higher than they should be.
“When a young person fails to get onto that first rung of the employment ladder it can set her or him back for a lifetime. Studies show that people who endure a spell of unemployment between the ages of 16 and 24 earn $400,000 less over their careers.
“So it’s critical that we help these individuals find jobs.
Nearly 40 of the nation’s largest employers – in addition to hundreds of small- and medium-sized companies – have signed onto the White House #FirstJob Compact. The Compact memorialises a set of best practices for recruiting, hiring, and retaining out-of-work, out-of-school young people aged 16 to 24—our nation’s Opportunity Youth.
The announcement of the First Job Compact was made in advance of an ESPN Town Hall with President Obama. To learn more about Hilton's commitment to youth, visit the company's youth website and Mr. Nassetta's recent op-ed on the youth unemployment crisis. Learn more about YCI here.