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Todd Finds The Pathway To Independence

Seven months ago, Todd Heritage wasn't doing anything. Todd lived in a rural area thirty miles outside of Cleveland. Now he has a full time job with benefits.

Todd, who is legally blind, works in laundry services at the Marriott Key Center Hotel in downtown Cleveland. He lives independently and uses public transportation. Todd's goal of independence was reached through participation in Pathways to Independence, a partnership between the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission and Marriott.

Road to Success

He started his Pathways to Independence training on January 19, 1999 at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center, in laundry services. Heritage explained, "It was sort of like being in boot camp! I really didn't think I could make it at first, but I did! It's a great program". Todd completed his training February 26, 1999 and was hired March 2, 1999 as a laundry aide.

Todd was immediately recognized as a dependable, hardworking associate and was recommended by the General Manager for a guest response position. This position is with guest services and will require Todd to take calls from guests and resolve any issues or concerns that they express. Todd is currently in training for this position and the hotel is working with the Cleveland Sight Center to purchase special equipment and software for Todd to use with the computer and the phone system used for this position.

Pathways to Independence

Pathways to Independence: a training-for-Jobs program is Marriott's welfare-to-work training program that has assisted hundreds of individuals with disabilities develop the skills for full-time employment and satisfying careers with Marriott and other hospitality industry employers. The program includes 60 hours of classroom training and another 120 hours of training in occupational skills. Pathways to Independence is an effective tool for helping individuals with disabilities acquire marketable job skills and become more productive members of society. Marriott is in a better position for meeting the challenges of developing a qualified workforce by taking the responsibility for training individuals, who are not qualified, and developing them for entry-level positions that may lead to successful careers within a Marriott business.

For More Information Contact:

Fred Kramer
Director, Community Employment & Training Programs
Marriott International, Inc.