Marano Fellows Class of 2009

Name: Marie Downey
Organization:

Boston Education, Skills & Training (BEST) Corp.

Location: Boston, MA
Primary Industry Sector: Hospitality
Type of Organization: Non profit education and skills training center

“Working collaboratively with individuals seeking to improve the conditions of their lives is fulfilling. Being a part of a labor management partnership committed to improving the working and economic conditions that impact people’s lives and success is gratifying.”

Organizational Mission: BEST Corp., an independent non- profit founded in 2004 and partially funded through a joint labor management collective bargaining agreement. By 2006 BEST had opened its’ doors “to provide individuals with the education, skills and training to excel in the hospitality industry and in their personal lives.”

Interest in Sector Work: BEST Corp. is committed to working with low-income individuals seeking opportunities in the hospitality industry; partnering with the unionized hotel sector in Greater Boston provides opportunity and access for these individuals. Many hotel workers are immigrants and English is not their first language; some lack formal education. Many native born Americans also lack the minimum reading, writing, computer and interviewing skills required for entry level positions. With access to increased training, our clients are able to obtain jobs that offer good wages and excellent benefits. At BEST Corp., a Hotel Training Center exists for people to learn the language and industry specific skills needed to climb the ladder to higher paying positions within the hospitality industry. Classes include multiple levels of English, computer skills, industry specific skills training and career counseling services. Support services and referral information are in place to address the multiple barriers faced such as immigration issues, legal matters, transportation problems and counseling needs.