Hilton Bentley Hotel's Managing Partner Julie Grimes focuses on helping offer training for overtown residents
When Julie Grimes is not overseeing operations at the Hilton Bentley Hotel in South Beach as its managing partner, she is helping the community through her work with numerous organizations. She has helped provide training and opportunities for inner-city residents, particularly those in the Overtown area.
Her main efforts have been with Miami Dade College's Hospitality Institute, a program that provides Overtown residents in need with training for jobs in the hospitality industry. Funding for the program stems from grants from the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency [CRA] and other funding partners. More than 1,000 people have gone through the five-day program, with about 300 landing hospitality jobs. She said that she hopes to expand the program outside of Overtown.
"We need additional funding partners in the Hospitality Institute," she said.
"We want to go beyond the CRA and get corporate partners engaged with funding and job opportunities for those in need."
Ms. Grimes helped spearhead the Hilton Bentley Hotel's community outreach program. The hotel works with Big Brothers Big Sisters, providing high school students the opportunity to shadow professionals in the hospitality industry.
Her dedication to helping those in need has gone beyond Miami's city limits. For the past couple of years Ms. Grimes has been involved with World Vision, which provides supplies to Haiti and training for residents to develop rural communities.
Born in Canada, Ms. Grimes said she has watched Miami transform into an international hub of wealth in the past 20 years. She said she hopes her community outreach efforts will provide inner-city residents with opportunities as Miami grows.
"I wish everyone would give more, not only of treasure but of time," she said. "If ever there was a time to do so, this is the time to do what you can to connect with those in need."
Ms. Grimes discussed the need to get Miami business leaders involved in the community and her goal of expanding the Hospitality Institute with Miami Today staff writer Patricia Hoyos in her downtown apartment.
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