At the end of 2016, The Arc@Work helped Baymont Inns and Suites to identify and recruit qualified individuals with I/DD to fill the brand-new Hometown Host position at their franchises across the country. The Hometown Host was a front-of-house role in which an individual would act as a greeter and customer service person for guests as they arrive for their stay.
Billy Jake was a young man looking for a job in his hometown of Celebration, Florida but was having trouble finding a job that would fit his interests and skillset. Because of his interest in food, Billy Jake initially applied to a local grocery store but had no luck in getting an interview. Then one day, Billy Jake’s job coach Tre Johnson informed him of The Arc@Work’s partnership with Baymont Inn & Suites. Billy Jake applied and was hired on as a hometown host at his local Baymont Inn and Suites location.
During his first few months with the company, Billy Jake admits he “was uncomfortable being around lots of people at my job.” But each time he engaged, he grew a bit more at ease. Billy Jake’s speaking and social skills have improved immensely and he has really grown into the role. Billy Jake now looks forward to waking up every morning and getting ready for work.
Serving guests at Baymont Inn and Suites has increased his self-esteem and has given his life new meaning. In his words, “I feel like this job came along at the perfect time. It is working out wonderfully for me, and I am so grateful to my job coach [for helping] me find it.” The collaboration is a win-win for both organizations: helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure a regular job in the community while assisting Baymont hotel owners in finding reliable, passionate employees who can connect with their guests and provide them with a great experience.
“Hiring Billy Jake was the best business decision I have ever made.” – Fred Keen, Director of Hotel Operations, Baymont Inn & Suites, Celebration, FL