Participant Highlight: Mahmudul Hassan, BEST Corp Hospitality Training Graduate

BESTgrad-Hassan
Mahmudul Hassan proudly displaying his Massachusetts Department of Labor Housekeeping Pre-Apprenticeship credential at his BEST Corp Hospitality Training graduation.

BEST Corp Hospitality Training’s mission is to provide individuals with the education, skills and training to excel in the hospitality industry and in their personal lives. This is the story of a man, just one of many, for whom BEST Corp did just that! Along with his own dedication, perserverence and professionalism, Mahmudul Hassan went from being a new immigrant earning $9.00 per hour, to earning more than double that and is well on his way into a fulfilling career in hospitality!

While earning his Bachelors’ Degree in Accounting in Bangladesh, Mahmudul Hassan (“Hassan”), had a summer job as a Housekeeper at a hotel. He enjoyed his experience there and felt that he would enjoy a career in the hospitality industry. In 2013, he decided to immigrate to the United States, hoping to pursue a better life for himself and his wife.

Shortly after arriving in the US, he began working at Dunkin’ Donuts in Boston for $9 per hour. Because of his excellent customer service skills, he was able to work his way up from crew member to Shift Leader, earning $11 per hour. However, this was still not enough to make ends meet. Needing to supplement his income, Hassan secured a job as a dishwasher, working long hours at a bar in Cambridge. Neither of his jobs provided benefits and he could not envision a future career path for himself. Then one day, while working at Dunkin’ Donuts, a customer told him about BEST Hospitality Training. Following that fateful day, Hassan enrolled at BEST in their Intro to Hospitality Pre-Apprentice Housekeeping training program, and hasn’t looked back!

While enrolled in training, Hassan decided to become an Uber driver so that he could have a flexible schedule and be able to attend classes. As an Uber driver, Hassan consistently maintained a 4.9/5.0 star rating.

He was a model student in the Pre-Apprentice Housekeeping class and described himself as hard working, kind, loyal, careful, flexible, and responsible. His instructors wholeheartedly agreed. Upon graduating, Hassan submitted applications to five partner hotels, received four interviews, and two job offers.

Hassan carefully weighed the two offers with the assistance of his employment coach at BEST. Even though the Element Hotel represented a longer commute for him over the other hotel, he was most impressed with how welcome everyone made him feel. When the General Manager interviewed him, she asked, “Why should I hire you?” Hassan responded, “Because I am a 4.9-star driver.” She made him an offer on the spot!

Hassan learned quickly in his job as a Housekeeper, earning $21.45 per hour, and his managers told him that once he has the required six months of time-in-position, he can expect to be considered for other opportunities with the Element/Aloft organization. Hassan told his coach that he is so happy that he joined the Element Hotel, and he envisions himself as a manager there one day.

2016 class pic - Mahmudul Hassan
Mahmudul Hassan with his BEST Corp Intro to Hospitality graduating classmates. Hassan is in the back row, first on the right. Photo cred: BEST Hospitality Training.

BEST (Boston Education, Skills & Training) Corp. Hospitality Training began offering the Room Attendant Training Program (RATP) in 2008. The RATP is a six-week, 150-hour training that provides individuals with the skills necessary to find employment in the well-paid sector of Boston’s hospitality industry, primarily as hotel housekeepers. Housekeeping is the largest classification in most hotels and the best way to enter the industry without a secondary degree. In 2016, BEST’s program was registered by the Massachusetts Department of Labor as the country’s first registered Housekeeping Pre-Apprenticeship Program, now referred to as Introduction to Hospitality.

Learn more about Pre-Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship expansion in Boston and find press coverage here.

From 2011-2016, 186 participants completed the program, with 85.5% finding new employment in the hospitality industry. Employers that are part of the Greater Boston Hospitality Employers (GBHE) network hire BEST graduates. These employers are signatories to a collective bargaining agreement with the UNITE HERE Local 26 union. Jobs at these hotels pay well and job expectations are clarified in a labor-management contract. On top of an hourly wage, employers pay an additional cost of approximately 50% of the hourly wage for a comprehensive benefits package that includes ongoing training at BEST for the Local 26 worker and his/her adult dependents. Read more in BEST Corp’s Social Return On Investment report: http://besthtc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/BEST-SROI.pdf

SkillWorks has supported BEST Corp Hospitality Training nearly since our inception, during Phase I of our initiative (2003-2008) through today, as our primary investment in Boston’s hospitality sector. Past years’ evaluation reports on SkillWorks investments in BEST Corp can be found on our website: http://skill-works.org/resources-evaluation-reports.php

To learn more about the many opportunities in the growing hospitality and related industries, you can join us for the next Understanding Boston forum at the Boston Foundation or tune in for the live stream: Work of Leisure: Behind the Scenes of Massachusetts’ Leisure, Hospitality and Tourism Industry. This exciting forum will be taking place on Tuesday, June 19th, 8:30-10:30am at The Edgerley Center for Civic Leadership at the Boston Foundation. The event will feature the release of a new report, accompanied by a panel discussion with representatives from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, UNITE HERE Local 26 hospitality union, and the Cape Cod and Greater Boston Chambers of Commerce.

Register to attend the event at: https://www.tbf.org/events/2018/work-of-leisure

View the live stream here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/tbf-forums

Follow the conversation on Twitter: @bostonfdn | @SkillWorks_MA | @BESTCorpHTC

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Author: SkillWorks

SkillWorks is a nationally recognized workforce funder collaborative, launched by the Boston Foundation in 2003 to improve workforce development in Boston and across Massachusetts. SkillWorks brings together philanthropy, government, community organizations and employers to address the twin goals of: 1) Helping low-skill, low-income individuals attain family-supporting jobs; and 2) Helping employers find and retain skilled employees.

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