Press Release

Husson University Partners with Eastern Maine Development Corporation

BANGOR, Maine – Husson University’s Tourism Institute (TI) and the College of Business in partnership with Eastern Maine Development Corporation’s (EMDC) Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Services Program have developed a Hospitality Certificate Program. Seventeen student participants ages 16-21 have been selected from a pool of candidates best suited for entry-level positions within the hospitality and tourism industry. Students will benefit from multiple certifications, as workers in the industry often cross-train, making them more desirable employees.

The Hospitality Certificate includes “stackable” industry-recognized credentials for restaurant and banquet server, front desk attendant, guestroom attendant, laundry and public spaces.

“Industry employment requires specific skills training,” states TI Director Marilynne Mann. “Hospitality businesses in Maine benefit when they can hire workers already trained in key skills areas.”

Classroom instruction began on March 27, 2012 with classes meeting on consecutive Tuesdays through April 17, 2012 for approximately six hours of instruction per day on the Husson University campus. Following successful completion of training, students are paired with industry employers for a supervised on-site skills implementation experience. The Hospitality Certificate is granted pending the demonstration of skills proficiency and passing certification exams. A four to six week work experience will follow with wage and workers compensation coverage by EMDC.

The project team includes key industry representatives who will oversee industry placement and skills implementation. Training will be facilitated by Marilynne Mann, TI Director and Instructor in the School of Hospitality at Husson University and program coordination is under the direction of Nancy McKechnie, EMDC Youth Program Manager. Case Management of WIA student participants is provided by EMDC Youth Career Advisors Denise Smith and Seamus Higgins. Donna Fichtner, certified instructor for the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute, will oversee industry training and certification. Mann will facilitate Welcome ME Quality Service Training and CPR Heartsaver training is provided by Tracey Arno, Coordinator of the Learning Resource Center at Husson.

If you are a business owner and are interested in creating a work experience for one of these students, or if you would like more information about WIA Youth Service Program, please contact Nancy McKechnie (207-561-4068). For more information about the Tourism Institute’s Hospitality Certificate Program, call Marilynne Mann at404-5631 or email