Industry: Leisure, Recreation & Hospitality Partnership: National Academy Foundation Business Need: Diversity, Labor Costs, Recruiting & Efficiency

Marriott offers internships and tuition assistance to urban youth interested in the hospitality industry, giving Marriott an opportunity to build a steady pipeline of fresh talent.

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"National Academy Foundation allows us to focus on a majority-minority group that our industry lacks in senior positions."
Andy Chaves, National Youth Programs Manager

Proud Partner With

The National Academy Foundation (NAF) is an acclaimed network of career-themed academies that open doors for underserved high school students to viable careers. NAF is dedicated to preparing young people for college and career success using its proven educational model and envisions a world in which all young people have the skills, knowledge and experience needed to thrive. For more than 30 years, NAF has refined a proven model that provides young people access to industry-specific curricula, work-based learning experiences, and relationships with business professionals. NAF academies focus on one of five career themes: finance, hospitality & tourism, information technology, engineering, and health sciences. Nearly 5,000 business professionals volunteer in classrooms, act as mentors, engage NAF students in paid internships, and serve on local advisory boards. During the 2013-14 school year 70,000 students attended 565 NAF academies in 177 school districts across 38 states, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 96% of seniors graduated with 92% planning to attend college.


In the face of increasing competition from new industries recruiting younger talent, leading lodging company Marriott took action. The company sought to develop a program to attract “echo boomers”—the next generation of young leaders.


Through its partnership with the National Academy Foundation (NAF), Marriott created an internship and tuition-assistance program that helps Opportunity Youth gain work experience, develop the skills necessary to succeed in the hospitality industry, pursue post-secondary education and develop life-long-learning habits. The program serves as a valuable recruitment strategy that has resulted in higher productivity and diversity.


  • Obtains a skilled workforce
  • Greater workforce diversity
  • Stronger impact in Marriott’s communities
  • Valuable recruitment strategy, which yields a round ROI


Source: Corporate Voices for Working Families and the Forum for Youth Investment.  Business Leadership: Supporting Youth and the Talent Pipeline. 2007.

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