Over the last year, a task force of ORLA members has been collaborating with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to develop a curriculum guideline and resource designed to prepare Oregon students statewide for careers in our industry. As the focus on Career & Technical Education (CTE) in our schools has expanded, the large numbers of high-wage, high-demand jobs that the Hospitality & Tourism industry generates has drawn attention from education leaders responsible for developing Oregon's future workforce.
Many of this Blog's readers are familiar with ProStart, the culinary arts program, which is an example of a CTE program of study. In this new project, we have widened the lens to include career pathways in lodging, foodservice, travel/tourism, and event management to more fully represent the broad range of opportunity that our industry provides. The hope is to expand the future pipeline of Hospitality & Tourism managerial candidates as the industry will need to maximize its growth potential.
The next phase involves rolling out these new guidelines and resources to Oregon's K-12 school districts and the State's College and University system. This will begin with the Oregon Association of Career & Technical Educators (OACTE) conference this April in Portland. The Oregon Hospitality Foundation (OHF) is working closely with ODE and OACTE to make sure that ORLA member involvement in the design process is driving effective classroom instruction and the adoption of these additional career pathway courses by school districts statewide.
Let us know if you want to see more hospitality and tourism industry classes in your local schools. Please contact the Oregon Hospitality Foundation if you want to participate, get involved, and stay informed. | Eric Aebi MBA, CHBA, Chemeketa Community College Hospitality & Tourism Management Dept.
Restaurant and lodging operators can get involved in an array of workforce development initiatives supported by the Oregon Hospitality Foundation. Consider volunteering for guest speaking opportunities, job shadows, participate in job/career fairs or offer experiential field trips at your place of business. Contact Ella Sturdevant for more information.
The Oregon Hospitality Foundation (OHF) team includes Courtney Smith, ProStart Manager, Ella Sturdevant, Workforce Development Coordinator, and Jason Brandt, President & CEO (ORLA) / Foundation Board Member.