The Midtown Sheraton has excelled with its commitment to hiring local people at a living wage, says the city official who has managed employment efforts for the Midtown Exchange redevelopment project.
Deborah Parker, housekeeping supervisor
Lives: Longfellow neighborhood
"I was working at Mystic Lake Casino when I heard about the Sheraton from a flyer my friend gave me. I went to the job fair and was hired as a room attendant. The day before the opening, I got promoted to housekeeping supervisor. I've had two raises so far.
"Working close to where I live is good for my family life. I'm encouraging my teenage daughter to apply for work at the Global Market. It's been an all-positive experience so far and I am seeing myself as a career person with Sheraton."
Charles Metcalf, guest services, shuttle driver
Lives: Powderhorn Park neighborhood
"I heard that the Sheraton was hiring through my church, Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. It's good being able to find decent jobs in this part of town. It helps me keep focused - my life is work, church, school. I'm getting ready to attend Northwestern College in St. Paul to study ministry.
"Guests I talk to are surprised at the inner-city location and most turn out to like it. The hotel shuttle travels within a five-mile radius on the half-hour. Most runs are to Abbott Northwestern Hospital. I also go downtown a lot and sometimes to Uptown. Occasionally I take guest to the Hiawatha light rail."
Kent Robbins of the Community Planning and Economic Development department (CPED) said that as of December 2005 the Sheraton had hired 42 people at or above the city's $10.23 per hour living wage threshold. Twenty-six of these hires live in Minneapolis.
"The Sheraton has been a great partner from the get-go," said Robbins.
With coordination by CPED, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development donated space in the Minneapolis Workforce Center at Chicago-Lake to host a job fair in September 2005 . Sheraton collaborated with Goodwill Easter Seals, located nearby at Lake and Elliot, to produce the event. It attracted 972 applicants for 57 jobs at the hotel, a result Robbins called "tremendous."
“The Sheraton Minneapolis Midtown Hotel is thrilled to be a participant in the revitalization of Midtown and a quality employer for local residents,” said hotel manager Jackie Wischermann. "Nationally, we are the debut design prototype for new Sheraton Hotels and, locally, a model for quality investment in emerging inner-city neighborhoods."
Wischermann said the hotel is still trying to fill several positions. Interested applicants should contact the Midtown Sheraton at 612-821-7600.
The Sheraton Minneapolis Midtown Hotel, located at Lake Street and Chicago Avenue, is adjacent to Abbott Northwestern Hospital and accessible via a climate-controlled skywalk system. The new 136-room hotel features double and king rooms, and one and two bedroom suites. Five conference and meeting rooms, a full-service restaurant and a large fitness center are also available.