Hilton Worldwide’s corporate offices, owned and managed hotels and franchisees have hired 10,000 veterans, spouses and dependents in the United States since 2013. The company reached this milestone two years ahead of schedule as part of its Operation: Opportunity program, which provides support to U.S. military veterans and their families. Hilton has also donated millions of Hilton HHonors Points that veterans can redeem for free hotel stays while seeking jobs, trainings or certifications with Hilton or in any other industry.
Hilton partnered with Hiring Our Heroes, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the White House's Joining Forces initiative and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies to launch Operation: Opportunity in August 2013. At that time, approximately 10 percent of post-9/11 veterans were unemployed, and active duty military were transitioning to civilian life at a rate of more than 250,000 per year.
Hilton's Operation: Opportunity program also aims for veterans and their family members to be 10 percent of new hires in its corporate offices and owned and managed locations in the U.S. moving forward. Hilton will also continue to donate Hilton HHonors Points to veterans through NASWA. The program is currently operating in 17 states, and Hilton is working to expand the program to every state that would like to participate.
"At Hilton, we know military veterans and their families have made incredible sacrifices for our country, and we are strongly committed to ensuring they have great jobs when they return home from service," said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton. "This philosophy has been embedded in our DNA since Conrad Hilton, a military veteran, founded our company nearly 100 years ago. We developed Operation: Opportunity to formalize our commitment, and we now have a workforce of more than 10,000 veterans and military family members who are strengthening our company in countless ways."
Main points on the Operation: Opportunity program include:
- The program most frequently filled positions that require strong leadership, managerial and operational skills with U.S military veterans. Some of those include food and beverage (1,053 hires) and guest services and operations (818 hires).
- Approximately 1,000 of those hired are military and veteran spouses and caretakers who excel in positions that offer the flexibility to work remotely, determine their own hours and accommodate changing deployments.
- Roles are diverse across the company, including security, loss prevention, engineering, culinary, corporate, sales, marketing, spa and recreation.
- The top three states for hires were Florida, Texas and California, respectively, correlating closely with the states where the most veterans live. Nevada, South Carolina and Hawaii followed.
- Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Grand Vacations and Hilton Reservations and Customer Care were the departments with the largest number of new team members.
"Over the last three years, on average, Hilton or its hotels have hired nine veterans or veteran family members every day in the United States," said Matthew W. Schuyler, chief human resources officer of Hilton. "Our message to these Team Members is simple: we value the leadership, integrity, teamwork and other skills you bring to the hospitality industry, and we'll do everything we can to support you in making a smooth transition to the civilian workforce."