Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) has partnered with Sacred Heart University (SHU) along with the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program (MYEP) of the City of Stamford to develop an innovative program that will provide education and training in digital marketing to a distinguished group of Stamford’s high school students. The program will begin this summer when Starwood will host 20 of the 75 MYEP interns at its Stamford headquarters. The students will receive real-world, on-the-job training and mentorship from Starwood associates in the company’s IT/digital marketing group.
Despite the job opportunities that abound, because digital marketing is a newer, growing industry, it can be difficult to find skilled employees, and many students lack the direct experience, education and training to fill open positions. The goal of this initiative aligns with the mission of the MYEP, to provide students with skills that meet the needs of local businesses and prepare them for future employment.
“Since moving our headquarters to Stamford a year ago, we have made many connections to support the community here, just as all our hotels support their local communities around the globe,” said Kenneth Siegel, Starwood’s Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel. “This partnership lays the groundwork for our long-term vision of integrating education and skills training in this high-growth field into the public high school curriculum in order to better prepare students for the needs of today’s rapidly evolving businesses.”
SHU professors have helped to shape the program’s curriculum, bringing expertise from its Master of Science degree program in digital marketing and its newly established location in downtown Stamford.
“We are proud to partner with Starwood and the City of Stamford for this innovative program, which we hope will advance students’ academic success and interest in pursuing higher education in digital marketing,” said Dr. John Petillo, SHU President.
The six-week summer program will include a three-week digital marketing “boot camp” at Starwood for 20 MYEP interns in July. Following this training, participants will spend time shadowing Starwood employees in various roles within the IT/Digital Marketing function. Throughout the program, the students will also attend the MYEP general leadership training workshops at Stamford’s Government Center with the other interns participating in the program.
“This partnership is a win-win for everyone involved,” said Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia, who commissioned the MYEP in 2011. “It creates the opportunity to take the vision of the MYEP intern program to a whole new level in a rapidly evolving sector. It would be my hope that we could extend this type of commitment to other industries down the road.”
Now in its third year, the MYEP aims to inspire and prepare Stamford’s high school juniors and seniors for a highly competitive marketplace. The summer internship program offers students comprehensive guidance and professional training across a number of fields, including healthcare, education, technology, culinary, marketing and more. The program has participation from almost 50 businesses, government offices and nonprofit organizations that host interns and/or provide financial support for the program.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,146 properties in nearly 100 countries and 171,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and ElementSM. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
About Sacred Heart University
Sacred Heart University, the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, offers more than 50 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs on its main campus in Fairfield, Connecticut, and satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland. More than 6,000 students attend the University’s five colleges: Arts & Sciences; Health Professions; University College; the AACSB-accredited John F. (Jack) Welch College of Business; and the NCATE-accredited Isabelle Farrington College of Education. The Princeton Review includes SHU in its guides “Best 377 Colleges – 2013 Edition,” “Best in the Northeast” and “Best 296 Business Schools – 2013 Edition.” U.S. News & World Report ranks SHU among the best master’s universities in the North in its annual “America’s Best Colleges” publication. Sacred Heart was also mentioned in Money magazine’s ranking of Fairfield as the 64th best town to live. As one of just 23 institutions nationally, SHU is a member of the Association of American Colleges & Universities’ (AAC&U) Core Commitments Leadership Consortium, in recognition of its core, “The Human Journey.” SHU fields 31 division I athletic teams, and has an award-winning program of community service. www.sacredheart.edu. For additional Sacred Heart University news, please visit http://www.sacredheart.edu/aboutshu/news/.
About the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program
Mayor Michael Pavia created the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program in 2011, with the belief that, “we have a responsibility to our youth, and to our community, to inspire tomorrow, today.” MYEP provides selected high school juniors and seniors who are residents of Stamford with immediate access to paid employment in the corporate, private, non-profit, or government sectors complemented by comprehensive guidance and professional training. The program delivers a unique experience that inspires students with a “real world” perspective today, while molding and shaping their skills to ensure we have a stronger workforce tomorrow. Students also learn the value of giving back to their community through group projects and presentations – a practice that many will carry forward throughout their career. For more information on the program, or to inquire about becoming a program partner, please visit http://www.stamfordct.gov/office-of-the-mayor/pages/the-mayors-youth-employment-program.