by Gary Axelbank
August 13, 2019
Four years ago when the Residence Inn New York, the Bronx Metro Center Atrium opened much was made of the boost it would give to the Bronx economy, culture, and employment statistics. But what was not talked about were the learning opportunities Bronx youth would get from the borough’s only first class hotel.
According to General Manager Clement Carey a dozen interns from the School for Tourism and Hospitality in the Jane Addams building on Tinton Avenue, the New York City Summer Youth Employment Program, and from Bronx Connect work in various departments of the hotel learning yes, about the hotel business, but maybe more fundamentally, experiencing first-hand the responsibilities of what it takes to hold a job.
Sixteen year-old Nicole Pinero who is going into 11-grade at Tourism and Hospitality told thisistheBronx that through her summer internship she has been developing her communication and social skills and now feels more confident working with others.
“I was really nervous at first and then getting to experience this is really cool,” she said. “This is my first job. It takes a lot of effort and time. Timing is really important to me, being here early.”
Tourism and Hospitality senior Iahina Ismaila agreed, saying that aside from her work in the hotel in administration and housekeeping, learning basic workplace discipline has been life-changing.
“Usually I’m a very late person,” she admitted. “But this job taught me to get up early do everything early because I don’t want to come to work late. They’re respectful and fun to work with I really like working here.”
That welcoming culture the hotel extends beyond its guests to its interns is by design, Carey said.
“For the kids who are from the High School of Tourism and Hospitality it’s a chance to apply some of the things that they’re learning in class to the real world and to sort of make a decision. Is this the kind of career they want to go into?”