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More than 5,700 careers created: Hyatt’s Opportunity Youth Advancement Program marks major milestone

Hyatt

RiseHY program brings untapped talent into the hospitality industry, emphasizes retention and progressive skills training.

CHICAGO – Hyatt celebrates its global RiseHY program, designed to connect young people with long-term careers in hospitality. Since the program’s introduction in 2018, more than 5,700 Opportunity Youth* have joined Hyatt or a Hyatt hotel. This marks a pivotal step toward Hyatt’s global commitment to have Hyatt and Hyatt hotels hire 10,000 Opportunity Youth by 2025.

With more than 23% of the world’s young people unemployed, according to the International Labour Organization, investing in underserved communities continues to increase in importance. Despite navigating unprecedented industry-wide job market challenges resulting from the global pandemic, Hyatt remains focused on its commitment to supporting Opportunity Youth around the globe.

“The RiseHY program helps thousands of young people around the world find fulfilling careers in hospitality,” said Malaika Myers, Chief Human Resources Officer at Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “Focusing on Opportunity Youth brings Hyatt’s purpose of care to life by creating economic opportunities for individuals in under-resourced communities, while also uncovering an expanded talent pool to solve the hospitality industry’s staffing shortage and turnover challenges.”

Hyatt

Creating Long-Term Career Pathways

To date, more than 400 hotels in 65 countries support RiseHY participants, referred to as RiseHYers. In addition to recruitment, the program puts equal weight on retention by helping RiseHYers gain access to new job opportunities and skills training that can turn into long-term careers in hospitality.

More than 40% of those hired through the RiseHY program are still employed at Hyatt or Hyatt hotels. In the U.S. alone, the hospitality industry’s average employee turnover rate stands at 70-80%, compared to the overall average of 10-15% turnover across industries, based on the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The RiseHY program allows Hyatt to introduce thousands of young people around the world to fulfilling careers in hospitality that feed their ambition,” said Peggy Focheux Duval, RiseHY Program Manager, Hyatt. “Through RiseHY, Hyatt offers youth the opportunity to learn necessary skills so they can advance professionally in the hospitality industry.”

Uncovering Talent Through Community Partnerships

Through community-based organizations and public-private partners, eligible youth can receive vocational training and career placement with RiseHY. Hyatt and the Hyatt Hotels Foundation also fund nonprofits around the globe, donating more than $1 million to 30 nonprofits over the last two years as part of the Hyatt Community Grant Program.

As an example, Hyatt collaborates with nonprofits like Bali Children Foundation (BCF) to bring in youth from disadvantaged, remote communities, like Risma. Risma grew up helping his family raise crops and cattle on their rural West Bali farm. In collaboration with BCF, he was hired as an intern at Alila Seminyak in 2022, and since progressed to Commis Chef at Hyatt Regency Bali. Risma’s story exemplifies the possibilities for Opportunity Youth to channel their potential into a successful career through RiseHY.

Connecting Colleagues with Advancement Opportunities

RiseHY supports mobility throughout the hospitality industry. Since 2018, more than 850 global RiseHYers moved into new roles and dozens of others either earned promotions or transferred to other properties to continue their careers. For example, Anastasiya started at Hyatt Regency Tashkent in Uzbekistan as a waitress when the RiseHY program began. After expressing interest in sales, she advanced to a new role as a sales coordinator and has since received several promotions to become a sales manager. “I could not imagine my life without my second family, my Hyatt family and without this hotel,” says Anastasiya, “I’m so happy to be here!”

Fostering The Next Generation of Talent

As Hyatt continues to grow, possibilities for Opportunity Youth expand, too. Introducing the Hyatt Inclusive Collection in the Americas and EAME regions, for example, has provided more opportunities at more Hyatt properties for untapped talent who didn’t previously consider, or have the resources to explore, hospitality careers.

Hyatt has also employed innovative technology to engage youth in new ways, including online virtual reality experiences and digital skill-matching. Through VR, potential recruits can preview a day-in-the-life of on-property colleagues, while digital skill-matching helps pair RiseHY participants with employment that aligns with their existing interests and talents.

More tenured Hyatt colleagues also get involved through the RiseHY Coach program which connects current experienced Hyatt colleagues with RiseHY participants to provide mentorship. To supplement this program and others like it, the Hyatt Hotels Foundation, Hyatt and the American Hotel and Lodging Association Foundation developed the Workplace Mentoring Toolkit, a resource to help implement, monitor and support hospitality mentorship programs.

 

*Opportunity Youth are defined as young people aged 16-24 who come from **under-resourced communities and are disconnected from the economy by not working and not going to school.
**Under-resourced communities refers to populations who are systemically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, civic and social life and have limited or no access to resources.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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