I recently spoke with Pilar Iturralde. “Training is part of our culture at Seaside” she told me. Pilar is the director of Seaside University, where employees spend time updating their skills. Managers, maids, and office staff, everyone spends time at the University. “They get the tools they need to do a great job for our Seaside owners, and also for the visitors to the resort properties we manage.”
A recent week night found a class room full of adults studying math. But this was something a little different. “These are the first GED classes we are offering” says Pilar. “With all of the training we are already doing, we thought maybe we could offer something extra that our people might want.”
“You know, it’s hard.” I spoke with a Seaside employee who is going through the program to get her High School graduation certificate. “I am here, my mom too. And sometimes my daughter comes as well! Just two more months. But it’s worth it and I feel great about doing it.”
Seaside pays for the books that are needed. “We are the link with the Board of Education too” says Pilar. “This is available also to the family members of Seaside employees.” Some of those in class already have High School diplomas earned in the United States. But the process of getting these accepting by the education system in Mexico is not straight forward. So much so that going through the courses and taking the certification tests is the most direct way to earn the credential here.
Seaside has a good reputation with those who work there because of things like the GED program, as well as other benefits that are offered. Seaside is a leader in applying technology, training, and responsive customer relations, as well as having a presence in the local community through the Mexico Children’s Foundation, where kids with critical health care needs and their families can find the support they need.
As this next Summer comes to an end, the first class of students will be awarded their diplomas. Seaside looks forward to offering a place for it’s employees, and family members, to earn something of real value. Pilar tells me “People who work and complete something like this, well it is good for a person’s self esteem. It is hard work, but the work comes from them.”