There are many pathways into a career, which underscores New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association’s role in Carroll Academy, an adult high school program in Tamworth, NH.
“In this current workforce climate, you need to look into every possible resource and partnership,” said Amie Pariseau of New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association (NHLRA).
Whereas much of her work consists in partnering with New Hampshire Career and Technical Education Centers, Pariseau said she saw an opportunity with Carroll Academy, which has resulted in Introduction to Hospitality.
Aimed at adults who do not have their diploma or HiSET (high school equivalency like the GED), the program is collaborative in nature, according to Crystal Sawyer, director of Carroll Academy/Carroll County Adult Education.
“I was approached in May of 2018 by Amie and Christina Baker from the Mount Washington Omni Hotel, to see if I would be interested in teaching a certified Hospitality course,” she explained.
In September of 2018, Sawyer said Michelle Hart from NHWorks indicated they could partner with the group and could pay for the class for any student eligible for a Basic Skills grant.
“If the student was making under $15 and was looking for a job in hospitality, they could take this beginner’s Hospitality class,” said Sawyer. “NHWorks would also help them find a job after the class in the field.”
In designing the certified class, Sawyer chose the AHLEI START (Skills, Tasks, And, Results, Training) 180-hour Curriculum Program. The START Program, she explained, is basically an introduction to every position in the hospitality sector — Front Desk Representative, Security, PBX Operator, Bell Attendant, Maintenance, Laundry, House Keeping, Food and Beverage, etc.
“At the end of the course, the student takes a final,” he said. “If they pass that, they get a START Certificate that they can show an employer.”
Noting the first class ran once each week with three recent graduates, Sawyer said Carroll County Adult Education is the first Adult Education center in the state to teach this certified AHLEI START course.
“We also have an Articulation Agreement with White Mountains Community College stating that our Hospitality course is considered a 3 credit course for their Introduction to Hospitality program,” she said.
Students in the class are diverse.
“I have an ESL student that has been with us for years and would like to switch career paths,” said Sawyer. “Another student is a former HiSET graduate who works in hospitality and would like to move up the ladder with her certificate.”
According to Pariseau, NHLRA could not be more excited about the possibilities for the program.
“We hope to see it grow and taught at other centers,” she said.
Currently, Pariseau said there are in fact plans for Manchester Adult Education to role out a similar program this fall.
Regarding the program at Carroll Academy/Carroll County Adult Education, which may soon include an apprenticeship track, she said students receive much more than an introduction to the hospitality industry.”
“They are receiving a nationally recognized certificate and a pathway to continue their education if they choose to do so,” she said.
In looking ahead at NHLRA’s role in general, Pariseau stated, “We will continue to support the efforts of all of our education partners as we look to continue to build a workforce pipeline and support current workforce needs of the industry.”