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The 600th IHG Academy is based in the Holiday Inn Express Powless Guesthouse, near San Antonio, USA. Having opened over 300 programmes during 2014, IHG has effectively doubled the number operating globally in the past year. This gives almost 6,700 new IHG Academy participants the opportunity to develop the skills they need to work in the hospitality industry.
The programme in San Antonio is one of ten created as part of a broader strategic collaboration between US non-profit-organisation Goodwill Industries® International and IHG in North America. First announced in 2013, it complements several other relationships that IHG is developing globally to create job opportunities and improve employability in the hospitality industry. Two IHG Academy participants at the Holiday Inn Express Powless House hotel have already been offered jobs in the hotel working at the hotel’s front desk and in food and beverage.
Kate Gibson, Vice President Corporate Responsibility, IHG, said, “We are committed to improving the local communities in which we operate and this includes giving people local to our hotels the chance to develop the skills necessary for securing a job in hospitality. Doubling the number of IHG Academy programmes to 600 during 2014 is a powerful demonstration of this commitment and represents a big milestone for IHG as we continue to grow IHG Academy globally.”
Garry Dickover, Hotel Manager, Holiday Inn Express – Powless Guesthouse, said, “We’re delighted to have been named the 600th IHG Academy to open worldwide. Our programme gives participants the invaluable experience of working in a hotel and allows them to see first-hand what it takes to deliver Great Hotels Guests Love.”
Originally launched in China in 2006, IHG Academy is a pioneering global collaboration in the hospitality industry, between IHG hotels and local education providers and community organisations. Much like the International Tourism Partnership’s Youth Career Initiative, it gives participants real-world experience working in the hospitality industry, and allows IHG the opportunity to develop talented people to work in its hotels. The programme has continued to grow year on year and now spans almost 60 countries worldwide.
The IHG Academy programme at the Holiday Inn Express® Powless Guesthouse was launched in collaboration with Goodwill Industries San Antonio’s ‘Back to Work’ programme and consists of a four-week training period giving participants experience working on the front desk and in the housekeeping, laundry and maintenance departments. Twelve hotel employees support the programme and to help oversee and train the participants. General Manager Garry Dickover set up the Academy having seen the positive impact the programme had at a Candlewood Suites® property in Las Vegas.
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 165 community-based agencies in the United States and Canada as well as other countries and is one of America's top 20 most inspiring companies. Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programmes, employment placement services and other community-based programmes by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,000 stores and online. Local Goodwill agencies also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services. In 2013, more than 9.8 million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill's career services. Goodwill channels 83 percent of its revenues directly into its programmes and services.