Non-profit New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association (NHLRA) is often involved in CTE events and initiatives, which reflects its mission “to promote, advocate, educate, and inform the hospitality and tourism industry in New Hampshire.”
One way NHLRA achieves its mission is through the Sector Partnership Initiative (SPI), a grant funded, industry led collaboration that addresses current workforce needs in five key sectors across New Hampshire.
The hospitality industry is one of these sectors.
“My role is to look to make connections between industry, funding resources, and education,” said NHLRA’s Amie Pariseau, who serves as Sector Partnership Advisor. “With workforce shortage a challenge, employers need someone to break down barriers, find solutions, and create a network to assist in those challenges.”
Building off this initiative, Pariseau said she is also involved in Girl Incorporated and Girl Scouts, which she said educates younger students on the nature of hospitality and available employment opportunities.
“We want to boost their interest in the industry and have them think outside the box,” she said. “For example, students think of a chef when it comes to a restaurant, but what other skills and jobs might be available there?
Held on October 15, ProStart Boot Camp is another hospitality initiative in which NHLRA is involved. It was the first of its kind in New Hampshire. ProStart is a nationwide, two year program for high school students developed by the National Restaurant Association. Eleven Career and Technical Education (CTE) centers actively teach the industry-driven curriculum, which “provides real-world educational opportunities and builds culinary techniques, practical management skills and a foundation that will last a lifetime.”
“With thirteen industry members ranging from ACF certified chefs to a director of lodging operations, seven schools, ten teachers, and forty students in attendance, it was a great day for collaboration between education and industry,” she said.
NHLRA also works with The Extended Learning Opportunities Network, which Pariseau describes as “a great group of educators dedicated to providing their students opportunities to demonstrate competencies outside the traditional classroom setting such as project based learning with a mentor, job shadowing, or internships.”
“In conjunction with two properties, I’ll be hosting the ELO Coordinators to give them behind the scenes look at the hospitality industry, talk about career pathways, and hopefully have a student story,” she added.
In April, the NHLRA will spearhead the second New Hampshire Hospitality Month. In addition to organizing tours throughout the hospitality industry for schools and community groups, Pariseau said they hope to ramp up with community college involvement, Chef to School nights, and more for 2019.
According to her, constant involvement in CTE related events and initiatives is critical to NHLRA’s mission, which also includes strengthening relationships with NH’s education system at the secondary and post-secondary level.
“CTE offers students practical classroom learning as well as hands-on experience preferably in an industry setting,” she said. “They’re able to try out a career in high school. “The opportunity to have a look into the ‘real world’ is so beneficial to them as they begin to formulate their future goals.”
In building relationships with schools and industry, Pariseau said NHLRA helps augment existing career pathways and build new ones.
“We want to connect student to our industry members and provide them with mentors, too,” she said. “We strive to get students out of the classroom and industry into the classroom.”
To learn more about NHLRA, visit http://www.nhlra.com.