Graduation Day for the Hospitality and Tourism students!
February 29, 2016
Posted in: Uncategorized
Since 2014, Canadore College has offered a four-week Hospitality & Tourism course that provides participants with essential knowledge and certifications to be employed in the hospitality industry. Participants learn about excellence in customer service, effective communication, and dealing with difficult people. Certifications include First Aid and CPR, Safe Food Handling, WHMIS, and a Statement of Training certificate.
This year, community businesses and partners, including The Log Cabin Inn, stores in the Beatty building, Gilli’s Restaurant and Bearly Used Books, accommodated site visits and spoke to students taking the course in order for them learn more about businesses in the Parry Sound area.
Michael Thompson and Jacqueline Fraser recently moved to Parry Sound from Fergus and they both attended the course in order to become better qualified to apply for jobs in this region. They heard about the course through Leading Into New Careers (LINC) Employment Services, an employment service provider for people who have a disability. Michael and Jacqueline are both deaf and have a 10 year old son who is also deaf (but with his cochlear implant Charlie is considered hard of hearing and can speak). Canadore partners with LINC Employment Services to ensure that people who have a disability are able to access the course with the supports they need, and this year Canadore funded an interpreter to make the course accessible to Michael and Jacqueline. Interpreter Rebecca Green speaks fluent sign language having grown up with parents who are deaf. Rebecca said that there are not many people in this area who are deaf but that she doesn’t believe this will be a barrier to the new young family. Rebecca mentioned that one of the highlights of the course was when the instructor and other students turned the class over to Michael and Jacqueline for a lesson in sign language. LINC Employment Specialist Katie Nelson, supported eight students attending the course, told me that the class was keen to communicate directly with the couple. Jacqueline shared that Katie was a natural at sign language because the shape of her hands make it easy to read what she is signing.
When asked if they thought the course would help them find employment the couple was very positive. Jacqueline was especially pleased with the fact that she could add three new certifications to her resume. Michael and Jacqueline both commented on the support they are receiving from LINC Employment Services.
Katie Nelson has supported clients of LINC through the Hospitality course for the past two years and says that “participants are definitely more employable after they have taken the course; it is not a mandatory course so people who choose to attend are highly motivated to learn and to find work”. She enjoys watching the people she supports gain self-confidence as they acquire new skills and progress through the course requirements.
This course runs in February and is open to the public. It is an excellent example of how collaborative partnerships in the Parry Sound community can be creative and fruitful for local residents.