Prescott restaurateur launches free college tuition program to attract employees

Above: kyler Reeves, proprietor of Vivili Hospitality Group and the Prescott area’s largest restaurateur. Business News | 2 hours ago |

Vivili Hospitality Group, Prescott’s largest restaurant group, is partnering with Yavapai College to offer employees free college tuition in an effort to incentivize new and existing employees amid a national hiring crisis that has plagued the restaurant industry since the pandemic.

While operating restrictions affecting restaurants throughout the pandemic continue to be lifted, staffing shortages have left many establishments unable to fulfil the demand from customers seeking to return to in-person dining. With service worker positions being  difficult to fill, Vivili is turning to college students to recruit staff for its five Prescott restaurants including The County SeatLa PlanchadaThe Barley HoundRosa’s Pizzeria and Taco Don’s by committing to pay for their college tuition.

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The Vivili College Program launches today and is available at Yavapai College with registration for the fall semester currently open. All Vivili employees are eligible for free college tuition after 90 days of employment and working an average of 32 hours per week. With classes for the first fall term beginning Aug. 16, new staffers must be employed by May 22 to qualify and those enrolling in the second fall term beginning Oct. 11 must start their employment by July 17. Employees are required to enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester and earn a passing grade of C or better to receive the reimbursement.

“Attracting and retaining the best talent is a top priority for Vivili and creating this program with Yavapai College allows us to do just that, while also contributing to the community by funding the education of people looking to get ahead in their careers,” said Skyler Reeves, proprietor of Vivili. “With this being a challenging hiring time for the service sector all over the country, our vision for this program is to find a creative way to alleviate this industry-wide issue.”

Yavapai College serves students in Northern Arizona — its main campus is in Prescott with additional locations in Clarkdale, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley and Sedona. Students participating in the Vivili College Program are able to select any major or path without restrictions and there are no stipulations requiring employment beyond graduation, allowing graduates to immediately pursue careers aligned with their degrees.

“This type of model for workforce training is essential for students to allow them to work and go to school simultaneously,” said Dr. Lisa Rhine, president of Yavapai College. “We are beyond excited to partner with Vivili Hospitality Group and commend their efforts to provide education to as many of their employees as they can.”

To learn more about Vivili Hospitality Group or to apply to join the team, visit ViviliGroup.com. For more about Yavapai College and its degree programs, visit yc.edu or call (928) 717-7777 and ask for Ashley Harlan or Jeremy Poehnert to register.
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