Freeholder Sergio Granados and Mayor J. Christian Bollwage (second and third from left) join newly hired Union County residents at Embassy Suites
February, 2014, Union County, NJ ~ When Embassy Suites Elizabeth-Newark Airport opened in early February forty (40) Union County residents realized their dreams of a new job and a new career. The initiative is part of a county-wide On-the-Job-Training (OJT) program run by the Elizabeth Development Company and several partners including the Union County Workforce Investment Board and the Elizabethport Presbyterian Center (Eport Center).
Prior to the grand opening, Embassy Suites Elizabeth-Newark Airport hosted a job fair with EDC’s social services partner the Eport Center, for unemployed Union County residents who were interested in preparing and interviewing for jobs with the new hotel located in Elizabeth, NJ. Over 50 residents attended. Over 40 positions, ranging from Front Desk Agents to Engineers, were available for interviews as attendees were introduced to career opportunities at this hotel. In addition to Embassy’s career opportunity presentation, attendees learned interviewing techniques, dress-for-success tips, career goal setting, and letter-writing techniques. Attendees were then scheduled for one-on-one interviews with Embassy Suites management.
Since the program began in the summer of 2013, EDC has identified three growth industries as its focus to help unemployed Union County residents find on-the-job-training opportunities, which include, warehousing, hospitality, and customer service. In this instance, EDC partnered with Embassy Suites in Elizabeth to match unemployed residents with a major employer and offer Hospitality and Customer Service jobs. Now that the hotel is open, it is providing promising career opportunities to over 40 Union County residents. Following are comment by two of the over 40 successful EDC OJT placements and are now Embassy Suites new Front Desk Agents.
Maria V. Pynn, first came to the US in 2008 from Ecuador and obtained her citizenship. As a married 49-year-old Elizabeth resident for over 6 years, she was referred to EDC’s OJT program through friends who saw a flyer about the Hospitality course offered at the Union County College – Retail Skills Center (an EDC program partner). Mrs. Pynn was unemployed for nearly a year and decided to pursue a career in hospitality due to her history of working at the Marriot in Borgata, Ecuador. “This is a really good experience and the orientation workshop at the Eport Center was really good. Thanks to EDC, I was able to learn hospitality skills at the Retail Skills Center and am looking forward to my new job. My experience at EDC was warm and friendly and the partners really are trying to help people get jobs. It’s great,” stated Pynn. She continues, “I hope to become a manager at Embassy Suites and plan to work hard to do so.”
Brian Martin, 21, is also a new Front Desk Agent and will work inside Embassy Suites helping guests check in and out. Mr. Martin is a single father of a 2-year-old child and has lived in Elizabeth, NJ for only three months while learning about new opportunities in Union County. A friend who resides in Union County referred Mr. Martin to the OJT program. “EDC took the time to make sure I had everything I needed. They processed my paperwork for the training program and offered me an opportunity to attend the job fair and land this job. They did this while being very down to earth which made me feel very comfortable when I had to ask them for help and guidance,” says Mr. Martin about staff at the EDC. Martin continues, “I look forward to working really hard to reach a management position and help guests enjoy their stay. This opportunity will really help me learn while earning an income. That was very important for me to help support my daughter and I.”
“This initiative is very important to all of us in Union County because it means providing people with not only jobs, but also a start to a new career in a promising industry. In a time when our economy is rebounding I’m excited to have this public and private partnership to improve the quality of life and improve our communities. I am excited that Embassy Suites Elizabeth-Newark Airport has joined our ranks as one of our dedicated employers,” states Sergio Granados, Union County Freeholder and liaison to the Union County Workforce Investment Board.
About the Elizabeth Development Company and the OJT Initiative
EDC launched this new initiative to help train and fill the jobs of local employers and help residents gain employment. The new initiative is specifically for qualifying Union County residents, such as displaced workers, veterans, and/or homemakers re-entering the workforce.
There are many benefits to the program for local small businesses and large corporations. Under the OJT program, employers receive wage subsidies of up to half of a new employee’s gross wages. This can go on for up to 26 weeks to help defray the costs of their employment training. They may even qualify for a Work Opportunity Tax Credit — up to $5,000 over 2 years and they may use their OJT program to help fund the first 6 months of an apprenticeship program for qualified participants.
The initiative is funded by Union County Freeholder’s Workforce Investment Board, City of Elizabeth Community Development Block Grant and Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit through NJ Department of Community Affairs. The Elizabeth Development Company is actively seeking employers who are willing to hire and train residents seeking employment.
Employers interested in more information about the OJT program may call Fatimah Raymond, Program Director at the Elizabeth Development Company at 908-289-0262 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Embassy Suites Elizabeth-Newark Airport
Located just off the New Jersey Turnpike and within walking distance to The Outlet Collection at Jersey Gardens, the Embassy Suites Elizabeth-Newark Airport hotel is just moments from Newark Airport (EWR). The hotel is 30 minutes from Downtown Manhattan and Times Square and just 17 minutes from Liberty State Park. Enjoy easy access to cruise ports, sporting arenas, concert venues and NYC attractions when you stay at this all-suite hotel in Elizabeth, NJ.
Settle into a stylish, two-room suite with a separate living room with a sofa bed. Enjoy modern amenities, including a mini-refrigerator, a microwave and two HDTVs and work in comfort at the flexible work area with WiFI (additional charge)and remote printing. Start your day at this Newark Airport hotel with a free, cooked-to-order breakfast and enjoy American classics in The Grille. Unwind after your meal with a drink in the spacious Lobby Bar.
Host events with 4,000 sq ft of flexible meeting space and stay connected in the complimentary BusinessLink™ Business Center. Our dedicated staff will be happy to help organize A/V equipment and catering options, to ensure your event is a success. Work out with the latest Precor® equipment in the Fitness Center or swim in the sparkling indoor pool with whirlpool. Meet friends and relax by the fireplace in the inviting atrium lobby, where you can enjoy our complimentary Evening Reception with complimentary beverages* and appetizers.