The maintenance program has been extended to the high school students at NCC as an avenue of career exploration. It began on January 22, 2015 and ran until February 26, 2015 under the direct supervision of Rance Knapp, Director of Engineering at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel, Washington D.C.
NCC high school students had the opportunity to learn various maintenance procedures at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza such as, but not limited to:
- Lockout/Tagout procedures
- Guestroom furniture repairs
- A/C repair, basic troubleshooting and component identification
- Proper set-up and planning for a painting project within a hotel
- Basic carpentry repairs
- How to safely push and inspect laundry carts
- Document maintenance request
During the month of training, the students were invited to the annual awards dinner at the hotel. This opportunity allowed them to see employees that were awarded for all their hard work and dedication throughout the year. Hasan, an NCC student even won a gift card for his participation in a dance contest. The overall event was educational and inspiring.
At the end of the training, Rance Knapp and the other mentors created an exam that covered all the information that the students learned under their leadership. It was a wonderful opportunity to recap and reinforce the lessons learned. Each student was presented with a certificate of completion from the Crowne Plaza Hotel. As a requirement of the maintenance program, students are expected to sit the national certification exam offered by the American Hotel Lodging Educational Institute. Two of three students took and successfully passed the national certification.
NCC Hospitality Coordinator, Ms. Tiescheka Stuart had the opportunity to briefly interview Rance Knapp, Director of Engineering following the completion of the maintenance program.
Q: Do you believe your training has provided our students with a variety of real work tasks?
A: Yes, we used real work tasks when training the students so that they understand the importance of detail and completion.
Q: From the time the students started up until now, how would you say their attention to task, accuracy and and/or appropriate work behavior through selected activities has improved?
A: I felt that their attention to task was a challenge at the start but improved greatly, while accuracy and appropriate behavior was strong throughout.
Q: What are some of the strengths you observed in each student?
A: Genuinely kind personality and excitement to return to the hotel for training each week
Q: Do you see maintenance being an appropriate fit for each student based on their personal characteristics/skills they’ve demonstrated?
A: I believe each student could potentially find a career in this field. It appeared that they were passionate about this field.
The NCC Career Academy would like to thank Vanessa Peters, Director of Human Resources for taking the steps to host the students at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza. The atmosphere of the hotel, the nurturing and passionate talents of the staff and management team, made the students feel at home. This speaks volume to the organizational climate, the characteristics of the team members, and the hotels beliefs and/ or vision statement that they are willing to help and educate students with disabilities in our community.
Vanessa Peters stated “We have to find a way for other hotels to get involved in this program. The programs that NCC Career Academy offers are beneficial not only to this group of students but to the community at large”.
NCC Career Academy looks forward to a long and prosperous working relationship with the Hamilton Crowne Hotel in helping students with disabilities secure employment and training with real world experiences.