Isothermal offering new hospitality classes
The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute training program will be offered at Isothermal Community College, president Walter Dalton announced Wednesday.
Dalton made the announcement Wednesday during a luncheon meeting at the 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa that was attended by more than 40 officials from tourism agencies, Rutherford County government and chambers of commerce.
Isothermal is the only community college in Western North Carolina offering this program. Wake Tech and Duke Tech offer the program on their campuses.
“We will begin with courses in occupational extension and ultimately,intend on creating an associates degree," Dalton said."Courses in team building, leadership, and soft skills are already beginning and it is anticipated that other courses will be offered within the next six-to-eight weeks."
Dalton said the courses will be in accordance with standards developed by the institute and will lead to nationally recognized credentials in the industry.
Lynn Minges, president and CEO of the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association, was among the speakers at the lunch event.
Minges, told the group the hospitality and tourism industry generated $7.4 million jobs and $759 billion in sale last year.
"There is obviously growing interest in this industry and the demand for jobs is expected to increase," Dalton said."We are happy to meet that demand and provide the quality training that will make a difference."
Equine classes are being taught this summer on the Polk County campus and others classes will be offered this fall, Dalton said.
Representatives from Tryon International Equestrian Center, Bright’s Creek, Foothills Equestrian Nature Center, Chimney Rock State Park, Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority and other tourism representatives also attended.
Certifications from the new training program are recognized by 10,000 hotel owners and employers across the country including Disney, Biltmore Estate and Grove Park Inn.
In addition to basic skills for a specific area of hospitality, the institute program will will train people to be professional, have confidence in their job, and establish a good work ethic.