Seven area students complete Hospitality & Certificate program

Published 10:32 am Monday, December 4, 2023

Seven students from across Northeast Tennessee recently completed the Hospitality & Tourism Certificate offered in partnership with East Tennessee State University’s Office of Professional Development and the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association. This certification is a 2022 recipient of the Association for Continuing Higher Education South Award. The first of its kind to ever be offered in the region, the certification has quickly grown over the last five years to consist of an alumni program with more than 60 graduates.
The students heard from more than 30 nationally known professionals within the industry, as well as city and county tourism departments and Main Street Programs. Classes were held at Hands On! Discovery Center and Gray Fossil Site.
“Tourism is the second largest industry and a major employer in our area,” said Alicia Phelps, Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association Executive Director. “Sustained investments in workforce development through education will further invigorate the hospitality and tourism sectors, which function as pivotal economic drivers in our area. We are delighted to continue to partner with ETSU in offering this program. Our region harbors a rich tapestry of experts and internationally acclaimed entities, and one of the primary successes of this certification is the one-on-one access to esteemed speakers and applicable experiences to management.”
2023 Northeast Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Certification Graduates include: Jessy Boswell of Greeneville; Felicia Perkins of Johnson City; Matthew Gulley of Johnson City; Allyson Parks of Johnson City; Dawn Swanson of Gray; Molly Boyd of Greeneville; and Paula Marsh of Kingsport.
The Hospitality & Tourism Certificate will be offered again in August 2024 with enrollment beginning in the spring. The certificate is an educational program of study for those interested in expanding skills and knowledge for personal and/or professional development. This includes working tourism and hospitality professionals who wish to hone their skills in management, public relations, current technology, social trends or graduate students wanting to augment their programs of study with an invaluable skill set. The certificate program prepares graduates for entry or advanced promotion into a wide range of management positions in culinary, food and beverage, lodging, attraction, and tourism related industries.
The program is intended for those who desire skills needed in the workforce at large. Students will learn regional and international facets of the hospitality and tourism industry with topics ranging from marketing, financial, safety, strategic, and employee management in the local billion-dollar tourism industry. The program is designed with a strong emphasis on applied skills. Students will have access to industry leaders, as well as experienced faculty and staff from East Tennessee State University.

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