Ever since the earthquake caused massive damages in Haiti in January 2010, the country has been slowly trying to get back on its feet. Now with the opening of a new vocational training program in Jacmel, students interested in the hospitality and tourism fields have a place to learn tips of the trade and hopefully boost job readiness and employment in the country. HEAT, which is short for Hospitality, Education and Training, is supported by the Ministry of Tourism and completely funded by artist Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti Foundation.
Yele Haiti has teamed up with global hospitality consulting firm HVS to develop a curriculum and train 120 students on customer service, housekeeping, front desk and food and beverages.
"Yéle's mission in Haiti has always been to help Haitians help themselves. A year ago that meant providing basic survival necessities for the people of Haiti — food, water, clothing and tents; we've now narrowed our focus to help rebuild lives by providing programs that offer job and career training," says Derek Johnson, CEO of Yéle Haiti. "HEAT will do just that, by providing job training and assistance for Haitians ready, willing and able to work, but lacking the necessary skills or opportunity to do so."
After completing the program, over 75 percent of the students will go on to work in local hotels, restaurants, bars and other business that have expressed need for employees.