On October 1, 2018, Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the launch of RiseHY. This ambitious global program aims to hire 10,000 individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 who have experienced barriers to employment.

The team at Hyatt Regency Calgary are passionate about actively engaging in the Calgary community to support Hyatt in its RiseHY efforts, whilst also working on it’s own promise to become a truly inclusive workplace, open for all.

As a member of the Calgary Employment First Network (CEFN), the Hyatt team reached out to The Sinneave Family Foundation (Sinneave) because our vision stood out as being closely aligned with their goals. In December of 2018, Hyatt Leadership requested a meeting with Sinneave to discuss collaboration. Following this meeting, Hyatt Regency Calgary agreed to partner with Sinneave as a resource for supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorder (autism or ASD) and other neuro-diversities.

In January 2019, the Sinneave team worked with Hyatt’s leadership team to educate them on autism awareness, and how to improve experiences from both the perspective of an employee as well as a guest.

Sinneave shared a variety of ways we could work together to help make the Hyatt experience more inclusive. One option was to support the development of a job sampling opportunity. Many of Sinneave’s clients have never considered employment in the hospitality industry; we saw the potential for a volunteer job sampling opportunity to allow for exposure to a dynamic profession without any risk. The benefits to participants would be the opportunity to volunteer, be exposed to a novel employment path, and a chance to learn more about their likes and dislikes.

Hyatt offered two areas for job sampling: housekeeping and stewarding. Sinneave’s Skills Coaches shared the opportunity with Launch + Skills participants, and then accompanied those who were interested on a half-day job sampling event.  The Launch + Skills participants commented on how friendly and welcoming the Hyatt team was during their visits. Similarly, the Hyatt team reported that they found the job sampling day to be a very enjoyable experience.

What started as a chance to simply learn about two roles within the hospitality industry, quickly grew into a program when Hyatt added a third job sampling role in the kitchen, and recruited three of their existing team (housekeeping, stewarding and the kitchen) to take on the additional responsibilities of becoming a “Job Sampling Coach”. Sinneave provided additional training for these enthusiastic recruits to teach them specific strategies for supporting individuals with autism and other neuro-diversities within their respective departments.

As our partner, Hyatt sends us weekly updates on available job opportunities as soon as they are posted on their career website.  They have been flexible in offering alternative interview dates and formats to better accommodate individual applicants with autism.  Sinneave is pleased to report that since the partnership with the Hyatt Regency Calgary was established, three of the Launch + Skills participants have been hired as part-time staff.  As a trusted partner, Sinneave will continue to be available to Hyatt for discussion and consultation on becoming a more inclusive employer for individuals with autism.

Thank you Hyatt Regency Calgary for being a leader in developing inclusive employment practices. You make our community a better place for everyone!

For more information on Hyatt Regency Calgary, please visit their website https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/canada/hyatt-regency-calgary/calrc or follow them on social media @hyattcalgary

For more information on Sinneave programs such as Launch + Skills, please contact us.

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