Rockaway Hotel set to launch program that will help locals seeking hospitality jobs

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As The Rockaway Hotel prepares for its second summer, the operators are starting an initiative to help local residents seeking employment in the hospitality sector. (Photo by Kyle Knodell)

The operators of The Rockaway Hotel are looking forward to a clean slate following a lost summer. The 53-room hotel on Beach 108th Street was originally meant to have its grand opening on Memorial Day last year, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was forced to wait until Labor Day weekend.

Earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Rockaway’s public beaches will open for swimming on Saturday, May 29, and while visitors will still have to adhere to coronavirus safety protocols, those mandates may be relaxed as more people are vaccinated and the public health situation improves.

“We were already excited about the summer 2021 season, and after hearing the mayor announce the opening of NYC beaches starting Memorial Day weekend, we are even more thrilled,” Rockaway Hotel Partner and Chief Social Impact Officer Michi Jigarjian said. “This is the official kickoff to the summer season that we’ve been anticipating for so long — it feels like a fresh start for all of us.”

The COVID crisis ravaged areas of south Queens and the economic fallout made an enormous impact on the Rockaway peninsula where unemployment rates are always among the highest in the borough. As The Rockaway Hotel prepares for the summer season, it is also launching The Hospitality Way, a new program in partnership with IGC Hospitality and 7G Group to help educate and empower the local workforce seeking jobs in the industry, according to Terence Tubridy, the founder and managing partner of IGC Hospitality and the managing partner of The Rockaway Hotel.

Photo by Kyle Knodell

“The Rockaway community is a pillar of our hotel,” Tubridy said. “Bringing economic growth and local job opportunities is a top priority for us. We recognize the great talent of our local community and look forward to having them join our team to bring true Rockaway hospitality to our guests.”

The six-week Hospitality Way program will begin Monday, April 26, and will include classes to help differentiate job positions that comprise hotel and restaurant businesses and guest speakers from the hospitality sector to help participants prepare for the interview process and ultimately gain employment at The Rockaway Hotel or other partner hospitality sites.

“Growing up in Rockaway, I was fortunate to have access to work in hospitality, never thinking it was my eventual career choice, so we are proud to be able to create a path in which clothes locally could see this as a career opportunity,” Tubridy said.

Since 2010, IGC Hospitality has grown to include more than five venues with more than 800 employees. The Rockaway Hotel represents an opportunity to contribute to the revitalization of the local economy and create more than 100 jobs that will allow the residential community to work where they live.

“For years we have been training and educating the importance of hospitality and entrepreneurship with our employees,” said Jeff Brosi, founder and managing partner of IGC Hospitality and managing partner of The Rockaway Hotel. “We are now excited to help broaden that message with people who are seeking growth for their own careers. We feel education is a form of empowerment and when you add in hospitality, it leads to a recipe for success. The Hospitality Way program is set to openly educate to empower.”

Applicants can visit the Hospitality Way website to learn more about the program and start the application progress. For more information on The Rockaway Hotel, visit its website.