Tourism/Transportation

Marriott Puerto Rico Business Council launches ‘Spark’ program

As part of a joint effort with the Department of Education and the Puerto Rico Department of Labor, the Marriott Puerto Rico Business Council recently signed a project that will offer internship opportunities for vocational school students in the hospitality industry at Marriott.

This program, called “Spark,” aims to raise awareness among young students about the opportunities the hotel industry can offer in a destination such as the Puerto Rico, where tourism plays an important role in the island’s economy, Marriott executives said.

“We are proud to be part of this comprehensive program that will give students the opportunity to understand and be interested in our industry. Here in Puerto Rico it is essential to continue growing our economy. Without any doubt, the tourism sector will contribute significantly to this progress,” said José González-Espinosa, area manager for Marriott hotels in Puerto Rico.

He highlighted the importance of education and practice for the next generations, staying at the forefront of the times.

With the endorsement of the Department of Education and Department of Labor’s Learning Office, the Marriott Business Council officially signed the agreement with the Education Secretary Julia Keleher and a large group of managers of the hotel chain. The Miguel Such Vocational High School will be the first to participate in the program.

The opportunities for the students will be: Reception Area, Executive Office, Engineering, Computer Support, Marketing, Food & Beverage, Human Resources, among others. The pilot program will begin in September 2018 with the participation of 20 to 40 students.

In the long-term, the program is expected to have more than 100 students, not only in Marriott San Juan, but also in different properties of the Marriott chain.

“We are confident that this program will provide a superior quality experience for each students, so they can feel part of the Marriott culture,” said Sam Basú, chairman of the board of the Marriott Puerto Rico Business Council.

Meanwhile Puerto Rico Tourism Company Executive Director Carla Campos expressed her gratitude to the organizers, saying “We congratulate the Marriott Hotels chain and the Puerto Rico Department of Education for launching a collaborative agreement for the benefit of young Puerto Ricans who opt for professional careers in tourism.”

“At the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, we have emphasized the need to provide greater opportunities for training the human capital of the industry,” Campos said.

“The Marriott chain’s ‘Spark’ program is a valuable tool that will provide students from Miguel Such Vocational School with the necessary training to insert themselves as successful professionals in the tourism field,” said Campos.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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