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  • Disabled Hotelier: “I Can’t Wait Until My First Day of Work”

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    (Linen work site)
    【Plaza Hotel Cabin Team, Mr. Lee Sang Hyeok (3rd grade mental weakness)】

    Mr. Lee Sang Hyeok (23), who has 3rd grade mental weakness, can hardly wait for November to arrive. He is to work as a regular hotelier in the Cabin Team of Seoul Plaza Hotel, a 1st-class hotel. As the first Korean to overcome developmental disabilities and work as an hotelier, Mr. Lee is currently doing field training – he takes care of linen and transporting works. “I majored in business in a community college, but after graduating I found it very difficult to find and maintain a job, being a disabled person. These days, it’s even more difficult for the disabled since the job market is so competitive. I’m very happy to have a new beginning as a proud hotelier. I can’t wait to start work,” he gushed.
    Seven severely handicapped persons, three of whom are developmentally disabled including Mr. Lee, are about to start anew as hoteliers. More doors will apparently be opening for the severely handicapped persons to work in the hotel industry.
    Regarding this issue, Seoul Metropolitan Government, Korea Employment Agency for the Disabled, and Hanwha Hotel and Resort have concluded the 「Disabled Hotelier Employment Agreement」 on the 28th (Mon) and declared the expansion of stable employment of the disabled in the hotel business.
    It is especially remarkable to have a developmentally disabled hotelier be hired as a regular employee in a 1st-class hotel, which is a first in Korea. This can be attributed to the joint efforts of Seoul City, Korea Employment Agency for the Disabled, and corporate sector.
    Seoul Metropolitan Government and Korea Employment Agency for the Disabled, which have been implementing the pilot version of 「Hope Project for the Disabled: “The Disabled Become Hoteliers”」 since March, managed to produce seven severely handicapped hoteliers in eight months for the first time ever in Korea.
    In particular, Korea Employment Agency for the Disabled was responsible for coming up with jobs for disabled persons through expert consultation on employment for the disabled.
    Based on the results, Seoul Metropolitan Government contacted numerous hotels and induced their participation in the project. Plaza Hotel, the first to show interest, added 8 more openings in various parts to the suggested jobs; it plans to hire a total of 15 disabled hoteliers by year 2014.

    In partnership with Korea Employment Agency for the Disabled, Hanwha Hotel and Resort aggressively pushed for the employment of the disabled not only in Plaza Hotel but also in their leisure service industry as well. As a result, they managed to hire a total of 27 disabled persons this year and announced their plans of expanding their employment of the disabled by discovering and developing more jobs appropriate for disabled persons.

    Seoul Metropolitan Government and Korea Employment Agency for the Disabled plan to pursue various support measures for such jobs including training, post-management, PR, etc. to induce the active participation of other hotels in the future.