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Knights Franchise Systems Shows Support for
Welfare to Work Partnership

PARSIPPANY, NJ, May 26, 1998 – Knights Franchise Systems, Inc. is proud to be a Business Partner in the Welfare to Work Partnership.  The first of Cendant’s family of hotel chains to participate in this program, Knights is committed to the process of moving welfare recipients into the workforce while providing an example to other hotel brands that welfare to work is a smart solution for business.

“We expect the program to work at three levels,” said Ramesh Gokal, president and CEO of the budget chain.  “By encouraging other Cendant hotel brands and business units to sign up as partners, by continuing to encourage participation at our reservations centers and by offering this as another business solution to our franchisees who face severe labor shortage problems.”

The Welfare to Work Partnership is a national, independent, nonpartisan effort of the business community to help move people on public assistance to jobs in the private sector.  The Partnership is made up of employers known as Business Partners, who pledge to hire and retain welfare recipients without displacing existing workers.

“In our modern economy, welfare to work is a powerful initiative,” said John Russell, Chairman and CEO of Cendant Hotel Division.  “If this country is going to meet the challenge of welfare to work, companies like Cendant must be involved.”

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act was signed on August 22, 1996, ending welfare as we know it. Following the enactment of the new welfare law, many businesses recognized that the government alone could not meet the goals of the new law.

Accordingly, the CEOs of United Airlines, Burger King, Sprint, Monsanto and UPS joined together to form a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that would spearhead the welfare to work effort from a business to business perspective.  Together, Welfare to Work President and CEO Eli J. Segal and the five founding companies formed the Partnership in response to the law and to President Clinton's challenge to the private sector to initiate welfare to work programs.

“We are excited to have Knights Inn join us and look forward to working with Cendant Corporation,” said Segal.  “At a time when many businesses are facing a critical shortage of workers, a new, non-traditional source of employees is being discovered in communities across the country. We hope all companies in the travel and tourism industry will come to realize that welfare to work is a smart solution for business.”

Gokal was recently a panelist on the “Welfare to Work” workshop held during the AH&MA conference in Reno, NV to discuss the initiative as a viable solution in meeting today’s labor shortages.  Other hotel industry leaders on the panel included Kathy Lacey, President of Lacey & Heilbron representing Loews Hotels, Sandy McHenry, director of staffing at Bellagio and Janet Tully, director, community employment and training for Marriott International.

“Like all hotel chains, Knights Inn is continually seeking new and innovative ways to secure external customers – the guests,” said Gokal.  “The Welfare to Work program allows us to apply the same standard to our internal customer – the employee. Also, by participating in the program, we are not only aiming to provide our customers with sensible business opportunities, but to change the negative attitudes and perceptions that exist about welfare recipients.”

Businesses wishing to enroll in Welfare to Work efforts can call the Partnership at 1-888-USA-JOB1.

Knights Franchise Systems, Inc., a budget lodging chain of more than 200 franchised properties in the United States and Canada, is a subsidiary of Cendant Corporation (NYSE:CD).  For reservations or further information, the toll-free number is 1-800-843-5644 (1-800-THE KNIGHTS).


Evy Apostolatos
(973) 496-8420

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