The College of Central Florida has received an $80,000 grant to develop a Hospitality Management apprenticeship program to meet the growing need for hospitality jobs in the tricounty area.
The grant is part of the Pathways to Career Opportunities grant program managed by the Florida Department of Education to assist state colleges and technical centers to establish apprenticeship opportunities. The college will partner with Hotel Development and Management Group LLC (HDG Hotels), CareerSource of Citrus, Levy and Marion counties, and the American Hotel and Lodging Association to develop an apprenticeship program that will allow participants to earn a college credit certificate, along with an industry certification as a Certified Hospitality Supervisor.
“Access to education and training has a tremendous capacity to positively impact individual lives as well as the businesses and communities in which such access is available,” said Lisa Lombardo, chief people and culture officer for HDG Hotels. “We are proud to be growing our partnerships with CF and the American Hotel and Lodging Association in ways that will once again offer our team members opportunities to grow with us.”
Additionally, apprentices who complete the program will receive at least 15 college credits that can potentially go toward an Associate in Science degree. Initially, many of the apprentices participating in the program will be current HDG Hotels employees; it eventually will be open to other organizations within the hotel industry. The program is expected to begin in the Fall Semester 2020.
In January 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 19-31, which included a directive to the Commissioner of Education to secure $10 million for the Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant. High schools, school district career centers, charter technical career centers, Florida College System institutions, and other entities authorized to sponsor an apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship program were encouraged to pursue this competitive grant to create new or expand existing apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs.
For more information, visit www.CF.edu/bustech or call 352-873-5800.