LEWISTON, Idaho – To help employers meet the continued employment boom in the hospitality, travel and tourism industry, Lewis-Clark State College will debut a new concept for the delivery of its Hospitality Management program.
The hands-on program prepares students for careers in a variety of hospitality areas including hotel and resort management, food and beverage, culinary, travel and tourism, and event planning. The program offers completion through 30-credit intermediate technical certifications (ITC), an advanced technical certification (ATC), two-year associate degree (AAS), or an advanced associate degree.
Starting with the fall semester in August, students entering the program will take the Semester of Exploration. This first semester will include core math and English classes, as well three-credit courses in Introduction to Hospitality Management/Sanitation Management, Culinary Skills I, and Food and Beverage Management.
Following the first semester, students will then choose one of three career pathways to complete their degree. The three include Hospitality Management, Culinary Arts, and Hotel/Resort Management.
The goal behind the new concept is to expose students to the different careers in the field during the first semester and allow them to explore what path they would like to follow for their career. The three focus areas offered by LC State are in demand in the hospitality industry, both locally and around Idaho. With a high demand in culinary arts, LC State has added Magen Goforth, former owner of Brock’s and Brava’s restaurants in Lewiston, to assist in enhancing the program and teaching culinary arts and hospitality classes.
“Industry really wanted to see some changes and some new focus on education, and it’s been my job to try to make that happen,” said Rodney Farrington, an assistant professor in the LC State Hospitality Management program. “The need for educated individuals in hospitality and travel and tourism is more apparent now than ever.”
Farrington said when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many workers in the hospitality fields had to find new jobs because of shutdowns. Now that restaurants are open and people are doing more travel with vacations, there is a shortage of workers, especially at the management level.
“The best way to start is to educate those people and get them into the industry or back into the industry,” Farrington said. “Prior to COVID, hospitality, travel and tourism was the No. 3 job industry in the world.”
With most hospitality areas opening back up, along with the population growth in Idaho, Farrington said the need is certainly there.
“Nampa is one of the fastest growing areas in the United States and Boise and Coeur d’Alene continue to grow,” he said. “Imagine 80,000 people moving to Lewiston and just keeping the same restaurants. It’s not going to happen. New restaurants are coming in. This industry will continue to grow. I want to educate our students so the LC student is the prime student that industry is looking for.”
Farrington said shortly after he began teaching a few years ago, he was approached by officials from the Shore Lodge in McCall about how to alleviate the problem of a lack of qualified individuals in the hospitality field. He said he’s been working – and continues to work – on addressing that issue.
“This is all I have done my whole life so I am incredibly passionate about this world,” Farrington said of hospitality management. “It is an important part of our lives. We all like to go out to eat, be entertained, and go on vacations. We have redesigned our program to be delivered more efficiently to students and industry.”
The Semester of Exploration will also take place in the spring and summer semesters of 2022.