In 2015, CityPartners started a hospitality apprenticeship program that is the first and only one of its kind in the District of Columbia.
CityPartners Pathways provides hospitality training and job placement to young adults from Wards 7 and 8 in DC. It is the city’s only apprenticeship program in the hospitality industry for residents ages 18 to 24—a population whose opportunities often are limited.
CityPartners Pathways was founded by Geoffrey Griffis, an owner of the Hyatt Place DC | National Mall in Southwest D.C., and by the hotel’s General Manager. Since its inception in 2015, CityPartners Pathways has taken on and trained 31 residents from Wards 7 and 8. These young women and men have been trained in all areas of the hospitality industry, from building engineering to front desk operations, service and housekeeping. To date, 23 of those apprentices have gone on to hold permanent jobs at the Hyatt Place, with salaries, benefits, and opportunities for career advancement in the hospitality industry.
CityPartners Pathways partners works with the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES) to find eligible candidates. After 90 days of training, paid for by DOES, CityPartners Pathways evaluates the apprentices to determine if they are qualified for long-term employment.
Apprentices are trained for an average of three months and then may be offered staff positions. In 2016, its first full year, 66% of CityPartners Pathways apprentices were offered permanent jobs at the Hyatt Place. In 2017, 87% were hired. When an apprentice successfully completes training and there is no available position at the Hyatt Place, CityPartners Pathways will help that apprentice find hospitality jobs in other locations.
Rickia Epps, former CityPartners Pathways Apprentice.
Today, Rickia is a permanent employee at Hyatt Place