Twelve graduates from the pilot training programme were celebrated on Monday, 21 November.
The Dart Hospitality Training Programme concluded earlier this month and the 12 graduates of the pilot programme were celebrated on Monday, 21 November at a small graduation ceremony at Ms. Piper’s at Hampton by Hilton.
The three-month on-the-job paid training programme offered these young Caymanians firsthand industry experience across Dart’s hospitality portfolio. Students were able to gain experience in several different departments and roles across three hotel brands: The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa and Hampton by Hilton, Grand Cayman, and to refine skills in their areas of interest.
“Dart is passionate about rekindling the flame of hospitality service in young Caymanians, as they are the ideal ambassadors to showcase the beauty of these islands to visitors from around the globe,” said Dart Chief of Staff Joanne Lawson. “As we witness the uptick in visitor arrivals, the Dart Hospitality Programme is poised to help replenish the pool of talented Caymanians who are interested in working in hospitality, as many were forced to pivot and switch career paths as a result of the pandemic.”
WORC (Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman) partnered with Dart in support of the programme and provided an Employability Skills Certification as part of the three-month training.
Dianne Conolly, WORC Manager of National Training and Development, said “We are pleased to have partnered with Dart on their pilot Hospitality Training Programme. This is a great example of how important private-public partnerships are to ensuring our Caymanians are provided opportunities to navigate new career pathways, obtain real-life practical experiences that enhance their employability skills and for employers to evaluate prospective employees. WORC looks forward to future collaboration on the DART Hospitality Training Programme, and providing employment support and guidance to those Caymanians who complete the programme.”
MP for Savannah, Heather Bodden, Acting Minister of Tourism and Transport, addressed the graduates in Hon. Kenneth Bryan’s absence and brought his greetings to the class of new ambassadors for the Cayman Islands and reminded them that they are our face to the world. She went on to thank Dart for their innovation, capital and commitment.
Eight of the graduates from this first cohort of students have received a job offer at each of the hotels and, if they accept, will receive a retention bonus after successfully completing their probationary period in six months’ time.
Two of the graduates also received special recognition awards for their commitment to excellence throughout the programme: Petrice C. Williams, who accepted a position in PBX at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, and Xavier Powery-Saunds who accepted a role at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman in guest services. Xavier addressed the graduates, encouraging them to use this opportunity afforded to them and said he would highly recommend the programme to other young professionals.
Congratulations to the programme graduates:
• Ashanti C. Barnes
• Spencer Ivan Hurlston Dixon
• Romario McLaughlin
• Kerena l Millwood
• Amin S. Palmer
• Ja’Shante Dominique Pearson
• Gerardo Clarke Rosales
• Xavier R Powery-Saunds
• Shaquan Donovan Smith
• Charlee Natasha Walton
• Petrice C Williams
• Jaquan Emmanuel Wray