In 2014, Courtyard by Marriott brand commits to partner with the National Academy Foundation (NAF) over the next three years to support American youth as they prepare to enter the workforce or seek higher education. Collectively, their commitment will result in at least 10,000 additional career development opportunities for NAF youth or their teachers over the next three years. Through its engagement, Courtyard by Marriott, along with their owners and franchisee business partners, will work together to strengthen employment pathways for young Americans.
Courtyard by Marriott brand will partner with the National Academy Foundation to offer real-world experiences to high school-aged youth and their teachers through job shadowing, career mentoring and professional development. Over the course of three years, Courtyard commits to providing 30,000 pro bono volunteer hours, impacting approximately 10,000 youth and teachers across the U.S. (9,500 youth and 500 teachers).
Courtyard by Marriott Brand Leadership and Hotel General Managers will host NAF teachers for career mentoring/leadership development at each of two global General Managers' conferences over the next three years.
CEO Arne Sorenson will join Courtyard brand leaders at a National Academy Foundation's Annual Conference to address the importance of engaging Opportunity Youth.
As an in-kind contribution, Courtyard by Marriott will host (and arrange through CGI) a brainstorming and implementation meeting to share progress, challenges and next steps with CGI's Opportunity Youth commitment partners.
The National Academy Foundation, with its successful long-term performance record in educating and preparing 'Opportunity Youth' through a network of 565 college preparatory, career-themed academies in 38 states, DC and the U.S. Virgin Islands, will provide the expertise and experience in engagement strategies for Opportunity Youth to help set, measure and evaluate outcomes, including more robust measures for tracking the career pathways of NAF students over the long-term.
July 2014 - Launch of new Courtyard by Marriott and NAF partnership at NAF annual conference in Washington DC via CEO Announcement and Remarks
Fall 2014 - Design program elements (for example, curriculum for teachers' professional development), Pilot in 2-3 Markets, Launch program in all U.S. properties
Feb 2015 -1,000 Hotel General Managers Engage up to 1,000 NAF youth and teachers
Summer 2015 - Hotel General Managers mentor 500 NAF teachers (in-person and through technology)
Fall 2015 - Hotel General Managers in U.S. Cities host NAF students at Courtyard by Marriott Hotels
Feb 2016 -Hotel General Managers in U.S. Cities host NAF students at Courtyard Hotels
Summer 2016 - Hotel General Managers mentor 500 NAF teachers
Fall 2016 - 1,000 Hotel General Managers engage up to 1,000 NAF youth and teachers in (TBD)
February 2017 - Results to Date and Outlook
Today's youth face great challenges gaining the real-world skills, insights and experiences that give them a vision for their future and the perseverance to stay in school, advance onward to higher education, and secure a good job in a chosen profession upon graduation. Access to a network of business leaders who engage with students during the high school years through job shadowing, class presentations, career discussions, and skill building workshops encourage youth to stay in school and secure a good, rewarding job upon graduation; two outcomes that help counter the growing number of 'Opportunity Youth' in the U.S.
The National Academy Foundation (NAF), a network of 565 career-themed academies in the public high schools throughout the U.S., has proven effective in preparing students for college and meaningful careers while also addressing the nation's largest and most pressing workforce needs, including hospitality and tourism, business and enterprise, information technology, health sciences and engineering. Engagement with business professionals is an important element of NAF's model, which has proven successful. In urban areas where most NAF academies are located, only 50 percent of high school students graduate each year. Yet, an impressive 90 percent of NAF academy students (on average) graduate from high school each year, on time. Four out of five of these graduates go on to post-secondary education. And more than half are the first in their families to go to college.
Courtyard by Marriott, brand management and hotel general managers and associates throughout the U.S., will grow the number of career-development experiences provided to NAF students and teachers, thereby supporting the continued effectiveness of NAF, its business model and growing its capacity to serve more 'Opportunity Youth.'
Courtyard by Marriott invites the brand's business partners, including group customers, suppliers, industry alliance partners and others, to join Courtyard by Marriott, its hotel owners and franchisees, in engaging NAF youth, 50 percent of who are often the first in their families to attend college, given socio-economic backgrounds. Today's youth, particularly those in urban markets, need, and greatly benefit from, engagement with business professionals and the work-world experiences and insights they can provide.
Courtyard by Marriot offers best practice information to organizations who seek mentorship program models.