YAVAPAI COUNTY, Ariz. - As restaurants are finding it difficult to hire people recently, a hospitality group in Prescott came up with a way to incentivize new and existing employees.
"As we’re looking to grow and hire, we’ve been posting jobs and doing the normal things and it’s hard to get anyone to show up for an interview," says Skyler Reeves, owner of Vivili Hospitality Group.
That’s why Reeves started the Vivili College Program. He reached out to Yavapai College and they quickly worked out a deal.
"I think it’s incredibly generous but also a very creative way. It’s a win-win for Yavapai College and for Vivili Hospitality Group. Really the biggest winners are the employees," says Dr. Lisa Rhine, President of Yavapai College.
Reeves, who owns five restaurants in Prescott, is offering new and current employees free college tuition at Yavapai College.
"We are a growing company. I think we are a small company for a program like this but I always said I want to be someone that people really want to work for, work with and hopefully this will be one more reason for some people," Reeves said.
To be eligible, employees must work an average of 32 hours a week, take a minimum of 12 credits a semester and pass their classes.
"For some people, the restaurant job is just a means to an end. They want to work while they are in college, kind of get through it and this will hopefully attract more of those types of people into our company," Reeves said.
He hopes this opportunity will allow his employees to grow and learn.
"I think it’s cool if someone works for us for two years and they get a college education out of it and money during that time. Hopefully, that will leave them with a positive experience for the rest of their life," Reeves said.