Real Estate & Hospitality

2021: Montgomery County Corporations Team Up with HBCUs From Baltimore and Beyond

MBS Staff
Jelynn Gould smiling in front of Cambria sign.

Two Montgomery County-based corporations have partnered with several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the name of career development.

First, Rockville-based Choice Hotels International (NYSE: CHH) made the announcement on December 16 that it has partnered with Raleigh, N.C.-based Concord Hospitality. The companies are sponsoring a hospitality management accelerator program for recent college grads from HBCUs.

Officially called the managers-in-training or M.I.T., the goal is to create a highly skilled workforce with the experience able to manage Choice Hotels' upscale Cambria brand.

The first two recent graduate participants are from Baltimore-based Morgan State University. Je'lynn Gould and Oshan Donegal applied for M.I.T. program on the heels of graduating from Morgan State’s Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management Hospitality. They made the cut for the six-month rotational program that was launched by Choice Hotels and Concord only last September.

Their immersive training began at the Cambria Hotel Washington, D.C. Convention Center (part of the City Market at O project) and the Cambria Hotel Nashville Downtown. If they complete the program, they will get an opportunity for a full-time managerial position with Concord Hospitality.

Choice Hotels recently announced it would move its headquarters to Pike and Rose in North Bethesda. It would anchor the office building planned at 915 Meeting Street.

Then, Bethesda-Based Enviva Inc. (formerly Enviva Partners) announced a few days later that it has teamed up with four HBCU’s located in several southern states. North Carolina A&T University (Greensboro), North Carolina Central University (Durham), Alabama A&M University (Huntsville), and Jackson State University (Jackson, Mississippi) signed multi-year agreements with Enviva (NYSE: EVA) to foster career development for African Americans in renewable energy and sustainable forestry.

Enviva coins itself as a global renewable energy company specializing in sustainable wood bioenergy. The company creates wood pellets, used as an alternative to coal, to create energy at power plants. The company operates ten modern biomass production plants and six port terminals from North Carolina to Florida.

The company recently moved its corporate headquarters to The Wilson office building at 7272 Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Bethesda. Enviva management said some of the program participants will have the opportunity to work at that location.

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