On December 3, there was a graduation ceremony for 48 Dominican students who participated in the fourth class of the Chance project, a pioneering initiative started in 2015 by the Mallorcan hotel chains Barceló Hotel Group, Majestic Resorts, Iberostar Group, Grupo Piñero and RIU Hotels & Resorts. The goal was to provide training and employment opportunities to youth at risk of social exclusion in the Dominican towns of Bávaro and Verón, where the hotel companies have been present for many years.
The participants received free training through the collaboration of the National Institute for Technical-Vocational Training (INFOTEP in its Spanish acronym), whose teaching staff provided the instruction from July 16 to October 24 in the Ann and Tedkheel Polytechnic School. In the first weeks, the students received training on generic subjects like mathematics, Spanish, English and humanities, as well as specialized tourism courses, including the hotel, kitchen, bar and maintenance areas.
After this training period, the young people started their apprenticeships divided into groups in the bar, kitchen, electricity and air-conditioning departments in five of the hotels owned by the chains in Bávaro. Following their graduation on December 3, the students who pass the course will have the opportunity–the “chance” as Dominicans say, hence the name of the initiative–to consolidate their professional future in the sector.
Chance was created in early 2015 as the first joint CSR initiative of the hotel chains Barceló Hotel Group, Majestic Resorts, Iberostar Group, Grupo Piñero and RIU Hotels & Resorts, which came together with the goal of strengthening their social presence in the Dominican Republic with community development through training and employment. After these four graduating classes, and those to come in the future, the Chance project has consolidated its positive impact on the Dominican community, with more than 200 young people in total having successfully graduated.