The hospitality and tourism industry is booming in the Charleston area, with the number of visitors increasing nearly 50% in the last seven years. Not surprisingly, that has spawned a spike in hotel construction; 20% more hotel beds were added in 2018 and more are in the pipeline.
And one thing they all have in common? They can’t find enough qualified employees. So if you’re seeking employment, there are a plethora of open jobs.
Not qualified, you say? You can get qualified – for free and in just nine days.
Start your hospitality career with Palmetto Goodwill’s Hospitality Kick Start program. Here are nine things you need to know about it:
1. The START Program
The Skills, Tasks, and Results Training program, START, was developed by hotels to prepare people for careers in the field. It teaches the skills necessary for 12 of the major line-level positions and provides information about the industry itself.
2. Hospitality Companies Are Waiting for You
The program was developed in conjunction with the Charleston Area Hospitality Association and the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association. Their members need qualified employees in the positions the program covers.
3. Graduates Receive Certification
Focus on one of five front-line positions: Guest Service Professional, Front Desk Representative, Guestroom Attendant, Maintenance Employee and Restaurant Server.
4. The Training is Hands-On
The program matches each student with a professional in the line of work the student chooses and arranges for on-the-job shadowing. In addition, the program teaches the “soft skills” that lead to long-term success in the field. The program shows students how to track information in an Excel spreadsheet, create a killer resume, ace the interview and apply conflict resolution techniques to maintain customer satisfaction.
5. The Food Worker’s Permit
The START program prepares students for the ServSafe food handler’s certification exam. The certification assures employers that a prospective employee understands basic food safety principles.
6. The Job Placement is Great
Hotels are desperate for great employees, so your prospects upon graduation are great! Palmetto Goodwill and Charleston Area Hospitality Association work one-on-one with students to identify and prepare for the job opportunities that are right for them. Then it helps place students in jobs.
"You’ll learn a lot and there is a recruiter who will set you up and help you find placement in a job,” says Edaina Woods, a graduate of the program.
7. The Teachers Never Stop Helping
"Once you’re done with the program, it’s not like they’re done with you forever. They give you their phone numbers, they give you their cards,” says Ivan D’Arrigo, another program graduate.
8. The Next Course is Soon!
The START program runs throughout the year, so there is always a next one coming up soon. Visit PalmettoGoodwill.org/hospitality to sign up today!
9. There Are Some Requirements
Candidates for the program must take an assessment and attend interviews in order to be accepted into the program, and they must commit to all nine days of classes. Participants are accepted based on their determination, merit and previous work experience.
If you’re in need of a job or you’re stuck in rut in your current position, consider Palmetto Goodwill’s START program to kick start your hospitality career.
To learn more about Palmetto Goodwill’s START training, visit PalmettoGoodwill.org/hospitality or call (843) 566-0072.