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2014 - 11 November

American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute eNewsletter

Guest Service Gold

Believe in Tomorrow Children's House Brings Hospitality to Hospital Stays

Believe in Tomorrow Children's House Having a child in the hospital is one of the most stressful experiences that parents can face. The Believe In Tomorrow Children's House at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, provides families with a cozy, home-like place to be close to their hospitalized child and escape the tension of a hospital room. As a sign of commitment to their very special guests, the entire staff of Believe in Tomorrow Children's House completed the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute's Guest Service Gold® training, earned the Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®) designation, and earned the distinction of being named a Certified Guest Service Property. 

"Our mission is to keep families together when otherwise they'd be pulled apart by the medical process," said Sean Morrison, CGSP, director of operations for the Believe In Tomorrow Children's House.  "It's an interesting dynamic trying to balance the stress of medical procedures and the allure of visiting a new city, with wanting the comforts of home." 

Founded in 1993, the 15-room facility is located just one block away from Johns Hopkins Children's Center.  The property serves about 75 families per month and 600-700 per year.  They come from all 50 states and 85 countries, and may stay for a day or two, or several months.  

"Folks are here for a very specific reason, and it's not usually a happy one," said Morrison. "We try to make it as pleasant an experience as possible so they have one less thing to worry about. We have to provide the absolute best services." 

Morrison explained the Believe In Tomorrow Children's House team turned to their contacts at local hotels such as the Four Seasons Baltimore, the Marriott Waterfront, and Sheraton Inner Harbor, with questions about training and best practices for housekeeping, food and beverage, and transportation.  They introduced the property to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and they became members two years ago. 

"We felt it was important to stand next to hotel and hospitality giants," he said. "As a provider of hospital hospitality housing, we provide the same service on a smaller and unique scale."  

The full-time staff, which includes a family care coordinator, a resident manager, and volunteer training and community outreach coordinator in addition to Morrison, embraced the many opportunities AH&LA offers, including webinars, online forums, emails, and the Under 30 Gateway. From those resources, they learned about training and certification through AHLEI and made that a priority. 

First, all of them earned the Front Desk Representative skills certification, then went through Guest Service Gold® and the Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®). Next, each plans on working toward higher level certifications---for instance, Morrison is studying for the Certified Hospitality Facilities Executive (CHFE) designation, while the volunteer training coordinator is pursuing the Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT®) designation. 

Morrison said that Guest Service Gold® inspired the staff to look at everything they do with new eyes, from their housekeeping practices to the way they offer transportation to their guests. 

"Before our training, we would provide transportation if guests inquired about it.  Now, we encourage guests to use our transportation services and even suggest places they might want to visit while they are in the city," he said. 

Noting that the Gold traits that most appealed to the staff were "intuition" and "surprise and delight," Morrison said that the Believe In Tomorrow Children's House has added a sign board to the lobby where they write personalized messages to celebrate guests' birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions like the last day of treatment for oncology patients.  They've added a welcome packet to guestrooms with t-shirts, a letter from their CEO, and a list of amenities for families.   They have special activities like "smoothie day," cupcake decorating, and football parties. 

"It's been a lot of fun for us, coming up with new ways to delight our guests," said Morrison. "They're all simple things, but now we realize the importance of doing them. It took going through the training to open our eyes to the possibilities."

About the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
Established in 1953 as a nonprofit educational foundation of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Educational Institute's mission is to continue being the preferred provider to the lodging industry, hospitality schools, and related hospitality industries by developing and providing quality resources to train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals worldwide.

- See more at: https://www.ahlei.org/Newsletters/Articles/Believe-in-Tomorrow-Children-s-House-Brings-Hospitality-to-Hospital-Stays/#sthash.YY6ePket.dpuf

High School Spotlight

Jack Hayward High School Internship with Hotel is a Win-Win Situation

Jack Hayward High School Internship By Raven Davis 
Reprinted with permission from The Freeport News 

With considerable support from the Grand Lucayan Resort, Jack Hayward High School officially launched its new internship program recently. The program, which is geared specifically towards students in the eleventh and twelfth grades, was established to grant students with as much exposure and experience in the Hospitality and Tourism area as possible. 

At the school, the Hospitality and Tourism department is headed by Janet Forbes-Dean in conjunction with Gailey Williams, a teacher at the school. Williams explained that together, they seek to equip the students and make them more marketable for what it is they are going to do out in the real world once they graduate. 

Williams added that he is exceedingly happy that the Grand Lucayan Resort has graciously extended a hand to the school and have been able to roll the program this year. Noting that this gives the students the exposure, experience and information they need to go with the theory they receive in the classroom, he said that they are matching the theory with the practical. 

"This makes for a good well-rounded prospective employee because the students will still be in high school. However, this is the time to get them now, as opposed to when they graduate and then you have to do it all over again."

Williams said, "The students will also do a certification at the end of it through the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. That is the organization that a lot of hotels and restaurants look to for training and development and certifications. If we have it right here in school, then they are able to be one step further than they are right now. 

"One of the other things that we are going to be doing is the lodging management program international competition. It is granted through the same association and that will be in April of next year. The competition is an industry experienced competition where the students get to practice in competition against 13 other schools around the United States and Canada concerning information that they would have learned right here in their classroom. At the end of the competition, which is a scholarship competition, you can win scholarship monies to go off to school and further your studies in hospitality and tourism."

He explained that the purpose of the competition is to prepare our own Bahamian students here in The Bahamas to service the global clientele that we have. 

"This is because every Bahamian and every person that we serve does not necessarily come from The Bahamas. So, we have to be on a global standing and that is the reason for the competition and for the program," said Williams. 

Each internship period runs for eight weeks. The 11th graders would start from now until December and the 12th graders would start in the new year for their job training and then proceed to completing their school year. 

Although similar to the National Training Agency (NTA) in certain regards, he detailed that the difference between the two programs is that anybody entering the (NTA) has to have already graduated while this program only deals with students still in high school.

"These persons are in school and we are seeking to equip them whilst they are in school and once they are completed with school, then they can matriculate straight into the workforce. Whereby, it makes it better for the community, better for the employer and better for the country on a large scale. We also deal specifically with persons in the hospitality department and in order to participate in the program, you must have a C or above average. You have to be able to do basic things like read and have the right attitude. You must also be able to produce the necessary information like police record and general work documents," Williams informed. 

Calling the program a "win-win situation," Williams said, "We are looking forward to making sure the students get what they need and the Grand Lucayan gets what they need in terms of prospective employees. We are very happy and we are very glad about that."

About the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
Established in 1953 as a nonprofit educational foundation of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Educational Institute's mission is to continue being the preferred provider to the lodging industry, hospitality schools, and related hospitality industries by developing and providing quality resources to train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals worldwide.

AHLEI Highlights

Postcard Campaign Shares Global Awareness with Urban Students

Postcard campaign All summer long, employees from AHLEI's Lansing, Michigan, and Orlando, Florida offices participated in a fun project to bring the world to a group of urban high school students through postcards. It seemed an ideal outreach for an organization that has partners and customers around the globe.

Atlantic Impact , based in Detroit, Michigan, provides urban youth with learning opportunities through community and global lessons through history and travel. They strive to empower students and show them that there is something beyond their hometown. Many of these young people wouldn't have the opportunity to go beyond Detroit without this program. Atlantic Impact is a three-year meaningful and personal comprehensive experience for youth, which ultimately provides them a space for student-led collaboration to develop and implement college-ready skills to become urban innovators. 

Atlantic Impact begins when students are in the 10th grade by encouraging historical knowledge , taking students around the Detroit area to learn about its history. They are challenged to reflect upon the community themes and their own lives; how can we maintain optimism, how can you become more engaged, how does our community affect the global community?

During the summer after 10th grade, participants have the opportunity to travel abroad. They take on the important role of serving as ambassadors for their city, state, and country on an international level. 

Students have the option of two tracks for their junior and senior years. Students develop skills through their sophomore year domestic and international trip experiences, and then have the opportunity to apply and implement those skills into the real world: Students identify a problem within the community and work in teams to implement a solution. Then, students enter a high-caliber internship program through Atlantic Impact's partnership with the local chamber of commerce.

Atlantic Impact contacted Casie Shimansky, AHLEI's social media manager, with a request that she accompany students on their summer trip to Barbados as an international blogger.  While unable to do that, she still wanted to help. They asked if she could help by sending postcards to students . They explained, "Since students in our school districts don't get global awareness from friends, family, and peers, this is a way for YOU to expose them to another part of the world, whether it be a state next door, or a country across the pond!"

Shimansky loved the idea. "Living in Orlando, I figured we had to be in the running for Postcard Capital of the World, so I thought I would visit my favorite areas and pick them up as I went about my day-to-day explorations of Florida. I love showcasing the Sunshine State." 

Having made the commitment, Shimansky opened up the opportunity to all staff members at the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) to join in collecting postcards. 

"As an international company that focuses on an international, travel-based industry, I thought we could easily show these kids what a large scope the hospitality industry has, and how hospitality offers a career path where you can travel and impact the global community," she said. 

By fall, the AHLEI team had collected 150 postcards representing 23 U.S. states and 12 countries, including Ireland and Japan.  Most of the postcards have messages on the back, sharing information and fun facts about the locations with the students who will receive them.  

"I was really thrilled with how many postcards we were able to collect in just a few months' time!  It was such a fun experience for all of us here at AHLEI to see which destinations we were able to collect and exchange the facts we were learning about the cities and countries on the postcards with each other," said Shimansky. "I'm hopeful that these vibrant images and stories from around the world will help to inspire the kids involved with Atlantic Impact."

About the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
Established in 1953 as a nonprofit educational foundation of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Educational Institute's mission is to continue being the preferred provider to the lodging industry, hospitality schools, and related hospitality industries by developing and providing quality resources to train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals worldwide.

AHLEI Celebrates 20 Years in India

When the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) was invited into India by the Ministry of Tourism in 1994, hospitality education AHLEI Celebrates 20 Years in India was still in its youth.  It had been just over 30 years since the government of India had set up the first hospitality schools (called Institutes of Hotel Management) in the country, and the field had been growing slowly.  K.V. Simon, who was an established hospitality educator in India, was appointed by then-AHLEI president E. Ray Swan to be AHLEI's regional vice president for South & West Asia, with an office in Mumbai. 

"When AHLEI commenced its operations in India, it was the right thing at the right time at the right place," recalled Simon. "India was undertaking some pathbreaking steps to achieve fast-paced economic development through liberalization, globalization, and privatization.  The hospitality sector was identified as a great employment generator and foreign exchange earner.  And employment-oriented professional and vocational education, training and certification were perceived to be critical to achieving competitiveness and sustained excellence." 

AHLEI became the first foreign education provider to open a branch office in India, when the concept was unheard of.  With its unique positioning as a global leader in providing hospitality learning and development resources along with professional certifications, AHLEI began to transform hospitality talent development in India. 

"The availability of contemporary AHLEI resources, courses, and certifications from the United States on Indian soil in Indian rupees was a tremendous advantage to the Indian hospitality students and the Indian hospitality industry," said Simon.  "The support and facilitation services provided by AHLEI's Mumbai office was also a boon." 

Under Simon's leadership, more than 70 post-secondary schools became AHLEI Registered User Institutes, offering AHLEI courses and academic certificates to students.  Through his efforts, the Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE®) program became a regular feature in India-the country has more than 400 CHEs.  AHLEI became the biggest foreign hospitality education provider in India. 

When international hospitality brands began to arrive in India, they recognized the presence of many Indian hospitality professionals possessing AHLEI credentials.  Today, even more individuals are showing interest in certification, which is particularly good for AHLEI, as the only hospitality certification provider in the country. 

When Simon retired early in 2013, Dennie Matthews became AHLEI's chief managing officer in India. During a recent visit to AHLEI's U.S. offices in Orlando, Florida and Lansing, Michigan, he shared encouraging statistics about the Indian hospitality industry and AHLEI's place in it. 

He noted that India has a strong pipeline of hotels, with an expectation of adding 50 percent to its current inventory by 2020.  In addition, improved global sentiments toward India mean more inbound tourist arrivals (currently at 6.7 million annually). This will result in higher demand for hotel rooms, and ultimately, an increased demand for a trained workforce. 

"Brand recognition has increased more than ever before, and with AHLEI graduates getting into the workforce, we are seeing higher acceptance within the hospitality industry in India," Matthews explained. "And while the Indian education system has expanded, there is still a great need for quality content and qualifications, so AHLEI still has a lot to contribute to the hospitality education scene in India."  

In recent months, AHLEI's India office has established a social media presence through a variety of channels, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, as a way of more effectively sharing AHLEI's messages to hospitality students and professionals in India and globally.

About the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
Established in 1953 as a nonprofit educational foundation of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Educational Institute's mission is to continue being the preferred provider to the lodging industry, hospitality schools, and related hospitality industries by developing and providing quality resources to train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals worldwide.

Professional Certification

P&G Professional University Offers Free Courses for CHHEs

PandG Hospitality professionals who hold the Certified Hospitality Housekeeping Executive (CHHE®) designation can earn points toward their recertification, mandated every five years, by completing free online courses through Procter & Gamble Professional University .  Three courses-disinfecting, restroom sanitation, and cleaning-are each worth one (1) point in the continuing education category.

P&G Professional University features a Professional Development section that offers web-based educational content and allows students to test their knowledge through self-study sessions and quizzes, which provide immediate feedback and certificates. The Resource Library provides a more robust offering of industry-related articles and expert insights, while the Product & Procedures section leads end-users to P&G Professional's catalog of hands-on training tools.

"P&G Professional is proud to work with AHLEI to offer the expert insights, training and tools on professional cleaning topics that we've amassed over the years," said Renee Buchanan, Communications Manager, P&G Professional. "Cleaning industry professionals can choose from a number of courses, participate in the webinar and/or chapter-based training program, complete the associated quiz, and easily present an automatically generated completion certificate to earn continuing education credits and further their professional goals." 

CHHEs can access an AHLEI-specific portal where they can register to access the three specific courses for which they can receive recertification points. Registration is free, as are the online courses. 

"Procter & Gamble is well known and well respected in the cleaning industry and we are excited to be able to offer the valuable resources that P&G Professional University provides to those who hold professional certification through AHLEI," said Chris Jack, AHLEI's vice president, certification.

About the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
Established in 1953 as a nonprofit educational foundation of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Educational Institute's mission is to continue being the preferred provider to the lodging industry, hospitality schools, and related hospitality industries by developing and providing quality resources to train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals worldwide.

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