NEW YORK—Global asset manager Blackstone, in partnership with its portfolio company Hilton Worldwide, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Kendall College in Chicago, has launched a hospitality education program designed to help veterans and their spouses receive the experience and knowledge that can lead to a career in hospitality management. The announcement was made in conjunction with President Obama’s speech to the American Legion Convention.
This educational program offers enrollment in courses at Kendall College’s School of Hospitality Management, the cost of which can be covered by GI Bill funds, and a six-month internship at a Hilton Worldwide property. Students who successfully complete the necessary coursework and internship will receive a Certification of Completion, college credit toward a degree and experience that positions them to be able to transition into full-time employment with Hilton or other hospitality companies. The program is being offered in coordination with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
In April 2013, in support of the White House’s “Joining Forces” initiative, Blackstone committed to hiring 50,000 American veterans across its portfolio over five years. In May 2014, Blackstone announced that it had already hired more than 10,000 veterans since making that pledge.
Coinciding with Blackstone’s Veterans Hiring Initiative, Hilton Worldwide launched its “Operation: Opportunity” initiative, including public-private partnerships and a commitment to hire 10,000 veterans within five years. Working with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA), the company is donating millions of Hilton HHonors points that veterans can redeem for free hotel stays while seeking jobs, both within and outside the company. It is also implementing veteran apprentice programs, on-the-job training and management development programs with the U.S. Department of Labor, Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs.