Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Woodstock

A beautiful hotel in rapidly-growing Woodstock, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites has been open for almost two years. When General Manager Aisha Parker began to notice challenges with recruiting employees, she shared her concerns with City of Woodstock representatives and was quickly referred to Goodwill.

As Aisha learned about Goodwill’s Hospitality training program, she realized this would be a great opportunity to address her hiring needs. The collaboration allows Goodwill to place program participants at the Holiday Inn for valuable on-the-job training. Of the four trainees at the property thus far, two were hired into permanent positions, and one was offered a job, but was unable to accept as the hotel was too far from his home.

Director of Housekeeping Vanessa Burroughs is thrilled with the quality of Goodwill’s participants and finds it valuable to observe potential employees during the training period. “Goodwill is an awesome organization,” she says. Vanessa also appreciates the hands-on approach used by Goodwill’s team and shares that Employment Job Specialist Cassandra Wimberly is available to join coaching sessions when issues need to be addressed with a participant or new employee who has come from Goodwill. “I have Cassandra on speed dial,” Vanessa says with a laugh, “and she is always a critical part of creating a game plan for performance improvement.”

The partnership has grown beyond Goodwill’s job training programs. Aisha and her team regularly visit the Woodstock Career Center and attend the job fairs held each month. They’ve found several great team members as a result, including housekeepers and a terrific new addition to their front desk staff.

Aisha and Vanessa cite the shared values of the organizations, as both are heavily invested in the success of those they train and hire. With a seemingly constant need, especially for housekeepers and breakfast servers, they expect the relationship with Goodwill to continue to grow in the years to come. Goodwill of North Georgia is pleased to recognize the Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Woodstock with the 2020 Emerging Partner of the Year award.