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Robert Hill is being honored as a Promoting Citizenship in the Workplace Champion of Change.
From the outside, managing a hotel may appear straightforward. We provide a comfortable place to stay for our guests and host major conferences and events. But if you scratch the surface, it’s easy to understand why running a large hotel operation is kind of like running a small city.
The InterContinental Miami hosts 500,000 people per year. No matter who our guests are or where they come from, they all expect a high caliber of service and a comfortable environment. Making sure our hotel runs smoothly is a team effort. On any given day, more than 350 colleagues work on our property. Being located in a large gateway city like Miami, a large percentage of our workforce is made up of team members who – like our guests – come from somewhere else.
Because we view all of our colleagues as part of the InterContinental Miami family, we made the decision to help our non-native colleagues navigate the path to U.S. citizenship.
As a very fortunate immigrant who arrived in America from Ireland with a lottery U.S. Resident Green Card twenty years ago, I have experienced first-hand how the task of earning citizenship can be daunting and difficult. It just made sense to support the New American Workforce, a nonprofit organization who could facilitate the U.S. citizenship process for our colleagues and for the more than 8.8 million immigrants who are eligible to apply.
From organizing application workshops and civics instruction to helping individuals through the often confusing and expensive process for free, the New American Workforce fills a critical role in our society.
Since partnering with the New American Workforce in 2012, more than ten InterContinental Miami colleagues have achieved U.S. citizenship, and four more are on the path to completing the process within the next year. Citizenship allows these individuals to make long-term investments in their families, communities, and our local Miami economy.
It also makes business sense. Our hotel spends significant resources each year on colleague development and training. Retaining non-native members of our team through citizenship enables us to generate a long-term return on our investment while building colleague loyalty and helping us cultivate talent from within.
Our colleagues who have benefited from our program often ask how they can give back themselves. Fortunately, our hotel is involved in a number of nonprofit organizations that make it possible to help others in our community. The best example of this is our hotel’s 20 year partnership with Make-A-Wish of Southern Florida, in which the annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball raises millions of dollars for the organization each year.
The partnership we have forged with the New American Workforce over the years has been a pillar of our commitment to people—the same people who are fueling our hotel’s success.
Robert Hill is the General Manager of the InterContinental Miami hotel.