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County Executive Bellone Announces East End Hospitality & Tourism Academy Ahead of Summer 2022

Pilot Program Provides Industry-Driven, Workforce Training to Support In-Demand East End Hospitality Careers and Local Economy

  • 19 April 2022
  • Author: Steve Burkhart
  • Number of views: 194

For Immediate Release

April 19, 2022



Holistic Approach Provides Meals, Childcare, and Translation Services to 48 Qualified Participants Seeking a Career in Hospitality, Tourism, & Culinary Arts


Click Here for Photos of the Event


Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today joined educators, business and community leaders to promote the success of Suffolk’s East End Hospitality & Tourism Academy at Hampton Bays High School.


“Due to COVID-19, the leisure and hospitality sector suffered historic job losses,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “Rather than wait for these jobs to come back, Suffolk County worked with local community-based organizations and business leaders to create an industry-driven workforce training program to start bringing these jobs back now.”


According to the 2021 Suffolk County Local Workforce Plan, the leisure and hospitality sector lost over 60,000 jobs between February and April 2020. From April 2020 to March 2021, the sector began to bounce back, regaining a little over 40,000 jobs or 62.9%, of initial jobs lost.


To jumpstart east end hospitality and leisure sector job market growth, the Suffolk County Department of Labor, Licensing, & Consumer Affairs worked with Hampton Bays High School and the Canoe Place Inn & Cottages to create a fully-funded, barrier-free hospitality and tourism academy in the heart of Southampton.


Over five weeks, 48 qualified participants attended twice-weekly workshops administered on site by Hampton Bays High School in a state-of-the-art commercial culinary lab. Curriculum was developed and delivered by a New York State certified teacher in Family & Consumer Sciences who worked directly with sector leaders to ensure work-ready instruction was provided.


To maximize participation rates, the Suffolk County Department of Labor and Hampton Bays High School worked hand-in-glove to provide Spanish language translation, childcare, and meals free-of-charge to all participants during every workshop. 


Throughout all sessions participants received experiential, hands-on learning complimented by lectures and corresponding evaluations in distinct core competencies.


Core competencies were designed in partnership with local restaurateurs and included such work-ready topics as: The Guest Experience Journey, Food & Beverage-Front of the House, Food & Beverage-Back of the House, Lodging & Operations I & II, and a special, regionally tailored “Long Island as a Global Destination” workshop.


Lessons were carefully constructed to also include an emphasis on industry specific soft-skills imperative to leisure, tourism, and hospitality services, such as: point-of-sale knowledge, active listening, patience, team work, vendor management, conflict resolution, cultural awareness, and overall presentation skills.


The academy concluded April 14th with a guest lecture from Ron Naples, Adjunct Professor, NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism & Sports Management, and a hands on mock interview and resume writing session supported by local restaurateurs and Suffolk County Department of Labor Career Counselors. 


To ensure all participants graduated with an updated resume, counselors from the Suffolk County Department of Labor’s Job Seeker Services Division arrived with pre-written resumes prepared using the individual work history provided by each participant during their initial program registration.


This information paired with onsite interviews and program-related technical skill updates allowed all graduates to depart with a sector specific, market ready resume.


In addition, all participants were provided a certificate of completion by Suffolk County Department of Labor Commissioner Rosalie Drago and invited to attend a specialized Hospitality & Tourism Career Fair the following week at Hampton Bays High School (Saturday April 23, 2022 from 9AM – 1:30 PM) where a Suffolk County Department of Labor staff photographer will be on hand to provide complimentary headshots to interested program graduates.


SCDOLLCA Commissioner Rosalie Drago said: “At the direction of County Executive Steve Bellone, the Department of Labor is proud to have played a meaningful role in the first fully-funded, barrier free hospitality and tourism academy here on the east end. By removing language, childcare, nutrition, and financial resource barriers-to-entry we have sought to provide potential employees a holistic approach to work readiness training and employers a sustainable pipeline to the local, skilled talent required to support Long Island’s world renowned east end tourism economy.”


Lars Clemensen, Superintendent of Schools, Hampton Bays Public Schools said: “A core pillar of the Hampton Bays Public Schools’ vision is its commitment to lifelong learning and the Hospitality Academy at Hampton Bays gave us the opportunity to do just that. In partnering with Suffolk County, Rechler Equity and Canoe Place Inn & Cottages, the Academy provides a positive and productive training and education experience with a two-fold benefit – introducing businesses to enthusiastic and engaged job candidates and exposing our neighbors to exciting local job opportunities. Finally, the Hospitality Academy at Hampton Bays is the “adult-extension” to our District’s commitment to career development at the high school level, with courses in culinary arts and hospitality and tourism management.”


Michael Brod, a Managing Director of the Canoe Place Inn & Cottages said: “We believe the development of The Hospitality Academy will have an immediate impact and aggregate benefit for the East End community, and particularly Hampton Bays. We are thrilled to support and put resources against this initiative to create hospitality career opportunities for Academy participants.”



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