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Hyatt Hotels announced last week its long-term commitment to education and workforce readiness with Ready to Thrive, a new global philanthropy program focused on literacy and career development. Ready to Thrive will lend critical support to the company’s corporate responsibility platform, Hyatt Thrive, which strives to make local communities places where Hyatt associates are proud to work, where guests want to visit, where neighbours want to live and where hotel owners want to invest.
Through Ready to Thrive, Hyatt will invest its corporate dollars in education, a key issue that not only impacts many local communities around the world but is also critical to Hyatt’s long term business goals and global expansion efforts. Hyatt will make a commitment to serving its local communities, many with youth and schools in need of educational resources, by helping to provide rich and meaningful career paths to community members with diverse background and skillsets.
First year investments will include support for global literacy initiatives, as well as training programs in Brazil, a strategic location for Hyatt with the anticipated opening of Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro in 2015.
Mark Hoplamanzian, President and Chief Executive Officer for Hyatt Hotels Corporation comments:
Our focus on literacy and career development goes beyond charitable giving – it is a strategic investment of our resources to create a lasting impact for local communities and for our company. We know that a solid education is essential for economic growth, job creation and income generation, all of which are critical to creating thriving communities and to the success of our business.
With a focus on literacy and career readiness, Ready to Thrive will support community organizations and programs and will offer a launching point for individuals to learn and develop the critical skills needed to professionally advance. It will also build on the existing foundation of Hyatt Thrive’s four pillars, which include economic development and investment, health and wellness, environmental sustainability, and education and personal advancement.
“We are investing corporate dollars into education because we believe that people who are better educated have greater economic prospects, lead healthier lives and contribute to more vibrant, sustainable communities,” said Brigitta Witt, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility for Hyatt. “With nearly 800 million people around the world who can’t read or write, it’s more important than ever that we focus on literacy and life skills, which are the foundation of a meaningful career path. The health of our business is inextricably linked to education and to the success of our associates and our local communities.”
Ready to Thrive is already well underway with several investments, including:
More than 60 million children worldwide do not have access to education and will likely never learn to read or write. Knowing that reading and writing are fundamental to an individual’s opportunities for future success, Hyatt regularly works with the Pearson Foundation’s We Give Books, as well as Room to Read, two non-profit organizations devoted to improving literacy and education for millions of children around the world. Earlier this year, Hyatt teamed up with both organizations during its Global Month of Community Service to donate 35,000 books across the globe.
Overall, Hyatt has donated 50,000 books to children in need through its work with We Give Books and Room To Read.
As an example of the support and care for communities in which Hyatt hotels operate, the company has made a two-year, US$750,000 commitment to career training and development programs in Rio de Janeiro. Working with AlfaSol and Associação Projeto Roda Viva, two well-known organizations, the company’s investment will focus on the development and professional training of low-income youth who live in the same community where the new Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro will be completed in 2015.
Additionally, Hyatt has a long history of working with Youth Career Initiative (YCI), which enables hotels to provide six-month education programs for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The program empowers participants by teaching them life and vocational skills to expand their career choices and improve employability. Hyatt currently hosts YCI students in hotels in Sao Paulo, Warsaw, Poland, Amman, Jordan, Mumbai, India and Cancun, Mexico. These hotels have collectively hired 45 percent of their program’s graduates – over 25 young professionals – a number that Hyatt hopes to expand in the coming years through its continuous work with YCI.