NEW YORK—Saira Hospitality, an educational nonprofit, has teamed up with major hotel companies to bring hospitality training programs to the people.
Recently, Saira Hospitality kicked off the largest training program in the organization’s history. In partnership with Moskito Island, Necker Island, Rosewood Little Dix Bay, Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina and Bitter End Yacht Club, the nonprofit established an eight-week pop-up school for 100 students. Interviews with the nonprofit’s hiring partners align with the graduation date, allowing open positions to be filled on schedule.
“Saira Hospitality is a nonprofit organization that connects communities and soon-to-be-open or soon-to-reopen hotels around the world. Saira provides free, world-class education to local people living near developing hotels and resorts to ensure the communities are connected to new employment opportunities directly,” said Harsha Chanrai, founder/CEO of Saira Hospitality.
“We lead the local student applicants through a four-step rigorous selection process, but ultimately feel confident the students who are accepted into the eight-week Saira program have the motivation, discipline and passion to build a career in the industry. Our partnering hotels are able to hire qualified members of local communities with the life, language and industry skills needed to be successful in long-term positions in the lifestyle and luxury hospitality industry.”
Chanrai strongly believes the nonprofit is disrupting the hospitality industry’s long-standing tradition of importing trained professionals from overseas, large cities and other hotels.
“There is a clear disconnect in bringing tourism and business to less privileged communities without involving the people who live there, and that needs to change. We save both training time and salary spending for hotels, while establishing positive relationships with nearby neighborhoods,” said Chanrai.
Saira Hospitality works with local communities to help people gain essential education, employment and financial stability through its pop-up hotel schools. Each course is tailored to equip students with essential theoretical, technical and soft skills for the hospitality industry, including the emotional and cultural intelligence necessary to build key relationships with employers, coworkers and hotel guests.
“There is so much potential in the British Virgin Islands. After the recent hurricanes, there was a remarkable amount of destruction and devastation, and immediately we thought, ‘What can we do? How can we get involved and be a part of rebuilding?’ Opportunities like the Saira programs give people hope for the future,” she said. “We get people excited about the new hotels coming to the area, rather than furthering the potential division and resentment that can happen when businesses open without involving the local community. Our partnerships with Moskito Island, Necker Island, Rosewood Little Dix Bay, Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina and Bitter End Yacht Club, paired with our enriched and engaging eight-week journeys, create a sense of hope for a thriving future for the British Virgin Islands.”
Through the program, Saira students also have the opportunity to enroll in a service excellence online module created by Cornell University’s online platform, eCornell. This further helps to equip the graduates with qualifications needed to pursue careers within hospitality.
“Saira works closely with each resort partner to meet their tailored staffing needs through customized timelines and programs with highly qualified instructors and bespoke curriculums,” she said. “Our partners share a list of the number of employees they are looking to hire and the different positions they are looking to fill. Saira ensures that students are trained in the requested departments so that recommended graduates of the program can be considered for all open entry to mid-level positions. Saira has a successful track record of providing 100% return on investment for our partners.”