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27/10/2005

Starwood Hotels expands workforce in Cork

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin recently opened the new offices of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Inc, in Cork City.

The hotel management company currently employs 380 people at their new facility on McCurtain St, and plans to increase this figure to 400 by the end of December.

Minister Martin said “Starwood Hotels and Resorts is one of the largest hotel and leisure companies in the world. Since its customer contact centre was set up in Cork in 1994, it has become the EMEA hub of Starwood’s global reservation system, which is a real achievement and indicative of the quality of the Irish operation and its staff. The additional support for the customer contact centre has enhanced its strategic role within the Starwood Group and is a further indication of Starwood’s long-term commitment to Cork and to Ireland”.

Caroline Cooney-Hurrell, director customer contact centre, Starwood, commented, “Our brands are experiencing continuous growth and we are increasing our workforce to meet this demand. By moving to this larger facility, we can cater for an additional 100 people and plan on reaching 400 employees by the end of 2005. We have been in Cork since 1994 and this capital investment is further proof of our long term commitment to the City.”

Starwood Cork was recently approved for the Excellence through People standard, Ireland's national standard for human resource development. This is an acknowledgement of the time and effort Starwood invests in educating and developing their staff, preparing them for a more successful future and encouraging their active participation in the work place.

The organisation hosted a Come Together Phone-a-thon’ this week, which raised funds for hundreds of their Starwood associates in New Orleans who were affected by Hurricane Katrina. The Cork office was the contact centre manning the phones for all calls coming from around the world, except North America.

The donations went directly to the Starwood Relief Fund for their associates returning to their homes in New Orleans, helping them to secure housing, food, clothing, and other essentials.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts is one of the largest hotel and leisure companies in the world, involve with 730 high-grade hotels in 75 countries worldwide with a workforce of 120,000.

The Cork operation is the only 24-hour operation that truly offers global service. They primarily support Europe, Africa, Middle East and Latin America divisions but also support the North American and Asia Pacific operations.

The Cork centre offers service in 14 different languages and approximately 50% of staff are multilingual.

The centre operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing support for all Starwood customers across voice, email and internet channels and offers reservations support to the hotels.

(SP)