As part of Haiti's recovery from the 2009 earthquake that devastated the region, the Huffington Post reports that the Yéle Haiti Foundation has a plan to get the country's hospitality industry back on track.
CEO Derek Johnson and Parris Jordan, managing director of the hospitality consulting firm HVS' Caribbean office, have joined forces behind a program designed to educate Haiti residents in the hotel industry. The vocational-training initiative will operate out of Jacmel, a port city that suffered severe damage after the earthquake.
"We're still in the bowel of re-emergence. As relief dollars dissipate, we believe that people desperately need to create and pursue opportunity for themselves," said Johnson. "This series of vocational training initiatives are all aimed at sectors we believe the country must grow in if it is to re-emerge from the catastrophic circumstances."
Yéle Haiti, which was founded in 2005 by Grammy Award-winning musician Wyclef Jean, was set up as a grassroots, nonpolitical, charitable organization focusing on emergency relief, employment, youth development and education.
The first three months of the program will focus solely on customer service and expectations, and the last three months will focus on a specific area of the hotel business, like housekeeping, concierge or front desk.
"What we're after is the investment in human capital — giving people a chance to build a life whereby they can sustain themselves," said Johnson. "If we can work to develop a workforce, then business will come and the government will invest the resources."
It looks as if the investment is already paying off. While the program hasn't even launched yet (it officially starts this September), Yéle Haiti has already secured job placements for 95 of the 120 students.
Read more at the Huffington Post.
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