CHICAGO, April 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Kendall College is joining with La Quinta Inns & Suites to expand the reach of its hospitality educational program to help veterans and their spouses. The program, which launched April 1, is designed to provide students critical education and experience that can lead to a career in hospitality management. The first cohort is expected to begin their studies in July 2015. Kendall College announced a similar initiative in 2014 when it joined forces with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Blackstone Holding Group to bring new career opportunities to veterans across the country.
The new educational program includes enrollment in courses at Kendall College's School of Hospitality Management and a six-month internship at a La Quinta Inns & Suites hotel. The coursework will be taught by Kendall College's award-winning faculty. Veterans will receive the same high-quality academic and career services support as full-time students. Veterans who successfully complete the coursework and internship requirements will receive a Certificate of Completion in Hotel Management, college credit toward a Kendall College degree and experience that positions them to transition into employment with La Quinta Inns & Suites. If eligible, veterans may receive funding for the program through the G.I. Bill in coordination with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
"Hiring top talent is one of the most important challenges faced by employers today," said Rosye Cloud, senior advisor for Veterans Employment at the Veterans Benefits Administration's Office of Economic Opportunity. "Our veterans are ideally suited to address many of the complex work issues in the hospitality industry, from planning and thorough execution, to understanding risk assessment and opportunities to excel."
Kendall's president, Emily Williams Knight, is the daughter of two U.S. Navy veterans and a former military spouse who is a passionate advocate of Kendall's involvement in initiatives that leverage education for long-term and successful employment options for veterans.
"I am truly proud and excited about the support of our new educational program by the industry," said Kendall College President Emily Williams Knight. "La Quinta Inns & Suites is providing this exceptional opportunity at a critical juncture for veterans and their families as they return to civil society. Kendall College continues to demonstrate its leadership in creating opportunities for veterans in one of the most dynamic and growing industries, not only in the U.S., but around the world. Having the support of La Quinta Inns & Suites and the Department of Veterans Affairs is critical for the success of this type of program."
"La Quinta's core values of People, Passion, Integrity, Excellence and Unique are at the foundation of our company. These core values align nicely with Kendall's to support our military members and their families transitioning to the civilian world," said Wayne B. Goldberg, president and chief executive officer of La Quinta Inns & Suites. "We are confident Kendall College will deliver the training and build confidence in our veterans and support us in our future growth."
According to Goldberg, "La Quinta Inns & Suites is an organization that always focuses on doing the right thing. As a result, La Quinta has a strong commitment to hiring veterans and their spouses with the belief that the experience gained through military service provides transitioning service members a strong foundation for success when they reenter the workplace. It isn't just the smart thing to do; it is the right thing to do."
About Kendall College
Kendall College, founded in 1934, is located in Chicago, Illinois, and is a member of Laureate International Universities, a network of more than 80 accredited campus-based and online institutions in 29 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. More than 950,000 students study at Laureate schools (for more information visit www.laureate.net.) Kendall offers undergraduate degrees in culinary arts, hospitality management, business and early childhood education to a diverse community of more than 1,650 students. Kendall College was ranked the number one program in Chicago for preparing students for careers in hospitality management and culinary arts in a survey of hiring managers at Chicago's leading hotels and Michelin Guide restaurants (TNS Global – 2013 Survey). Kendall College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC.) For more information, visit www.Kendall.edu.
About La Quinta
La Quinta Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LQ) is a leading owner, operator and franchisor of select-service hotels primarily serving the upper-midscale and midscale segments. The Company's owned and franchised portfolio consists of more than 860 hotels representing over 86,000 rooms located in 47 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Honduras. These hotels operate under the La Quinta Inn & Suites™, La Quinta Inn™, and LQ Hotel™ brands. La Quinta's team is committed to providing guests with a refreshing and engaging experience. For more information, please visit www.LQ.com
SOURCE Kendall College