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Hilton helps grow Cowen Institute’s career training program

October 13, 2017 12:45 PM
Mary Sparacello msparace@tulane.edu
The Cowen Institute’s Earn and Learn Career Pathways Program introduces young adults to careers in high-growth, high-wage industries. Earn and Learn participants are opportunity youth between the ages of 18 and 24. Prior to the program, they were neither working nor in school. (Photo by Matthew Feigenbaum)


The Cowen Institute at Tulane University is expanding its successful Earn and Learn Career Pathways program with a $725,000 grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to establish a workforce training program at Hilton New Orleans Riverside.

“The Cowen Institute was fortunate to pilot and develop the Earn and Learn program at Tulane, with Tulane’s role as the second-largest employer in New Orleans as a foundation for support and growth,” said Amy Barad, the Cowen Institute’s director of strategic initiatives. “The partnership with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the Hilton New Orleans Riverside will be a natural next step in the progression of the Earn and Learn program, one that will reap meaningful rewards as we strive to impact more young people in New Orleans and beyond.”

Launched at Tulane in 2014, Earn and Learn reconnects opportunity youth ages 18 to 24 to postsecondary and career pathways. Participants receive a paid apprenticeship and the “wraparound support” essential to success, such as academic, soft and technical skills training, Barad said. The fourth cohort of about 25 Tulane Earn and Learn apprentices will begin training at the end of September. The Earn and Learn program at Hilton New Orleans Riverside is expected to launch in June 2018 with 10 additional apprentices.

While Earn and Learn at Tulane has primarily focused on preparing opportunity youth for careers in skilled crafts and information technology, the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Earn and Learn program will explore additional career pathways in skilled crafts (namely, maintenance engineering) with possible training for careers in the culinary arts, loss prevention and the front office. The pilot cohort of Hilton apprentices will begin in June.

“Hilton’s partnership with Tulane’s Cowen Institute aligns perfectly with our global commitment to connect, prepare or employ at least one million young people by 2019,” said Gareth Fox, Hilton vice president for human resources operations. “The Hilton Riverside, the largest hotel employer in New Orleans, is an exceptional place for youth in the community to start a career in hospitality, and we are delighted to be a part of the program.”

Like this article? Keep reading: Cowen Institute celebrates 10 years with three gifts totaling $2.5 million