Launched by Mayor Robert Garcia last year in June, the Long Beach Internship Challenge seeks to increase the number of internship opportunities available to students in the city, and the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel has embraced the challenge, having worked with high school students for several years now. Their program provides job training, rewarding both the student participants and the hotel staff who guide them.
Last semester, Renaissance Long Beach and its sister property, Courtyard by Marriott in the East Village, hosted an afternoon for high school students that included job shadowing, table setting, food preparation and a bed making contest, according to a release.
“I’m very grateful to the Renaissance Long Beach for the support they are offering our young people as they transition from school into a career,” said Garcia in a statement. “Events like this are critical for our students and for our local economy.”
Long Beach CaLL, a nonprofit started by the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) to place its students in internships and is a partner of the mayor’s Internship Challenge, also works closely with Renaissance Long Beach. The district’s MALE Leadership Academy also works with the hotel.
“Companies, especially global brands like Renaissance Hotels, are to be commended for their work with students,” said Lionel Gonzalez, MALE Leadership Academy Site Supervisor for LBUSD, in a statement. “It used to be every kid could get a part-time job, but that’s not the case any longer. It’s not because these kids don’t want to work and earn money and experience, it’s because [there] just aren’t a lot of companies that hire at the high school level. The Renaissance Long Beach is giving kids an opportunity to gain real work experience.”
The hotel’s goal for the upcoming year is to employ at least 12 LBUSD high school students, including the four most recently hired for the internship program and additional students that were hired for seasonal summer jobs. The hotel’s general manager took inspiration from Councilmember Dee Andrews, who advocates for young constituents and “believes that one more job for youth is one less gun on the street,” stated the announcement.
“It’s exciting to have these young people working with us and interacting with our staff and guests,” stated Pam Ryan, general manager for Renaissance Long Beach. “Of course, our job is to mentor and teach them about responsibility in the workplace, but we’re learning from them as well. I believe the experience is as rewarding for these talented students as it is for us.”
Renaissance Long Beach is located at 111 East Ocean Boulevard.