VANCOUVER — British Columbia will need more than 100,000 new skilled hospitality workers by 2020 — and that’s just one Canadian province! This means the need for companies to train and certify their existing workforce is more imperative than ever, said Joanne Gallagher Kurtzke, who heads up a new workforce training organization based in Vancouver.
That organization, Empower “U,” is working closely with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) to offer high-quality hospitality training, education, and certification to hospitality organizations, schools and workforce development agencies in Canada.
Kurtzke, director of education and training for Empower “U,” became familiar with AHLEI and its education and training resources while working as a hospitality professional and a college instructor. When she decided to establish her own training solutions company, she turned to AHLEI to be her training partner.
“The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute is delighted to be working with Joanne Kurtzke and Empower “U” to expand AHLEI’s training presence in Canada,” said Elizabeth Johnson, the organization’s senior public relations and marketing manager.
“Joanne’s background in both hospitality operations and teaching and her knowledge of the Canadian market make her the ideal person to deliver AHLEI’s academic courses and professional certifications to those in hospitality careers and those who aspire to work in the hospitality industry.
“Joanne has used our products in the classroom for many years and is a true believer in AHLEI’s mission and commitment to developing a well-qualified, credentialed hospitality workforce.”
Empower “U” has a memorandum of understanding with AHLEI to create, facilitate and design customer-centered, industry-focused, certified, workforce training programs. The goal of the organization is to empower hospitality organizations and the people they employ to train in a new, affordable, flexible and innovative way.
AHLEI training programs that Empower “U” will offer to its clients include Guest Service Gold and the Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP), as well as AHLEI’s full line of hospitality management distance learning courses.
Kurtzke and Empower “U” will work with a team of industry professionals to assess and identify service and hospitality companies’ needs, then design and create specialized programs to help them achieve their goals.
“We are a B2B company. Our target market is Canadian hospitality organizations that want to offer custom designed, AHLEI certified, (vocational) training to their employees. The duration of these programs can run as short as one day and as long as 11 weeks,” Kurtzke told CLN.
This includes companies such as Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Empower “U” is working with Jim Pelton, executive director of continuing and professional studies, for Metro Vancouver-based KPU.
“We are offering training that will produce highly skilled ambassadors for beautiful British Columbia,” Pelton told CLN. “The expertise that both Empower “U” and the AHLEI bring to the table will enable us to deliver first class education that will meet the needs of a growing and vital industry in British Columbia.
“The KPU courses will be delivered in blended online and in-class formats to ensure that busy professionals get the quality training they need in a flexible, schedule-friendly fashion” said Pelton.
The Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC), a union that represents workers in the construction, health care and food industries, plans to offer its members hospitality training, education and professional certification using globally-recognized resources from AHLEI. The training will be delivered through a collaboration with Empower “U.”
“We are interested in developing our hospitality membership and wanted to work with someone who has industry knowledge and expertise,” said Chris Cameron, CLAC training coordinator.
Empower “U” is confident that the training materials and expertise of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute is the right fit for all clients in the service industry sector.
For more information on Empower “U,” contact 604-943-6604 or firstname.lastname@example.org.