Hospitality Daily
By Josiah Mackenzie

Graduate Hotels has been making waves over the last few years for its rapid growth, stand-out design, and vibrant culture. But there’s one especially interesting aspect – a big focus on education. Today, Graduate Hotels President Kevin Osterhaus discusses the investments they’ve been making into employee education and what the business results have been from it.

The Graduate Academy program, launched last year, offers team members the opportunity to pursue undergraduate degrees paid for by the company. Additionally, Graduate Hotels will cover the cost of university certifications, regardless of whether they are related to the employee's role or not.

This includes trade certifications for engineering team members, human resources certifications for housekeeping team members, and CPA certifications for finance team members. The program also extends to funding high school diplomas and English classes for team members and their families.

Setting up the Graduate Academy program was a comprehensive project. Kevin and his team understood and communicated the importance of viewing it as a benefit offering rather than just an added expense. They allocated funds to the properties and communicated the program's details to team members through roundtable discussions, quarterly town halls, and ongoing training. The goal was to ensure that everyone understood the opportunities available to them and felt supported in their educational pursuits.

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