At Palo Alto’s Garden Court Hotel, the Core Values of putting guests first and respecting colleagues has blossomed into an innovative private/public partnership with Palo Alto Adult Education to provide on-site English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for multiple team members during the work day on company-sponsored time.
ESL instructor Kelle Mason provides two hours of customized instruction per week at the Garden Court Hotel to team members who want to improve their English skills, to build their confidence in using English on the job and in their personal lives, and to develop the listening and speaking skills needed to communicate more effectively with guests and co-workers.
The Garden Court Hotel pays for the instructor’s time, provides space for the class, pays the team member for time spent in the class, and schedules additional staff to cover the students’ responsibilities while they are taking class.
“This is such a great example of a partnership that benefits the students, local business, and the community. We have had a long standing partnership with the Garden Court Hotel and were thrilled when they approached us last summer to craft a program that fits their needs,” shared ESL Program Coordinator Alexandra Scott.
Garden Court Hotel’s General Manager Barbara Gross describes providing the class on site as a way to make the class comfortable, meaningful and easy to attend for colleagues. “By giving our staff the time to invest in learning English with their colleagues, we help them build confidence and skills they can use both here with our guests and in their personal lives. We are enhancing the experience of our guests while removing all barriers for our team members to gain important knowledge, and we are boosting morale for the whole Garden Court team as we support these learners. Everyone wins.”
The current ESL class is celebrating the end of their 12-week session on Thursday, March 6, at 1:30 p.m. Garden Court Hotel is located at 520 Cowper Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301.