BEST Hospitality Training opened the doors of its Dudley Square site on Wednesday, November 16, 2016. BEST dedicated its new site to two men known for their leadership, their love for humanity, and for being committed champions of social justice – Mel King and the late Paul McDevitt – two bright lights and beacons of hope.
The idea came about two years ago when Executive Director, Marie Downey, spoke with Abrigal Forrester and others from Madison Park Development Corp. (MPDC) about expanding to Dudley Square. As a result of hospitality growth and the demand for its job seeker programs BEST had reached training capacity in its Chinatown location. Opening a second site would create a pipeline in the neighborhood by connecting people interested in working in hospitality to quality jobs. MPDC, under Jeanne Pinado’s leadership, recognized the impact BEST services could have on residents in the neighborhood. And they were determined to make this vision happen. Successful in their efforts they received an Urban Agenda grant to assist with the renovation costs. The Building Trades Unions, who have a longstanding tradition of helping non-profits and investing in communities including Dudley Square, did their part to make this project successful. They took extra care and effort to identify the right contractor partners and training programs to successfully complete the project. And it didn’t end there – a family foundation learning of the move contributed $50,000 for the technology needs of this center. New neighbors up the street at Hamill Tribal Art Gallery welcomed BEST and donated some of the work on display. And other works of art were donated from artists through the Art Connection. Finally, BEST benefitted from the immense support of its hospitality employer partners, community partners, developers, food service providers, and others who understand the significant economic role that training plays in the hospitality, tourism, and gaming industry.
As noted by Executive Director, Marie Downey, the hospitality industry in Boston is growing dramatically. More than 30 new hotels are under development. Gaming is arriving in Massachusetts. Hundreds of current hotel workers are approaching retirement age. Employers are searching for more high-skill workers who see hotel and hospitality opportunities as a wise career choice, not just a temporary job. Responding to these trends, BEST Hospitality Training is unveiling a new job seeker training center in Dudley Square in Roxbury–an area of Boston where residents are desperate for quality jobs. The new BEST Hospitality Training Center opened its doors on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 during National Apprenticeship Week.
Please read the Department of Labor’s news post for further details at https://blog.dol.gov/2016/11/17/new-training-center-to-focus-on-building-diversity-in-boston-luxury-hotels/
UPDATE: Please watch the video of our opening event!